Curium • Actinide Rare Earth
Date of discovery: 1944
Name origin: Pierre and Marie Curie
Discoverer: G.T. Seaborg
Obtained from: man-made
Melting point: 1613 K
Boiling point: 3383 K
Molar volume: 18.05 × 10-6 m3/mol
Shell structure: 2,8,18,32,25,9,2
Electron configuration: [Rn]5f76d17s2
Oxidation state: 3
Crystal structure: hexagonal
Although second in the series of the transuranium elements, curium was actually the third element in the series to be discovered. The element was first synthesized in 1944 and made in its elemental form for the first time in 1951. There are very few commercial applications for curium, but it may be useful in radioisotope thermoelectric generators in the future. The isotope curium-242 can generate about 2 watts of thermal energy per gram and is used in pacemakers, remote navigational buoys, and in space missions. If curium enters the body, it can be very destructive because it accumulates in bone tissue, which then destroys bone marrow and stops red cell formation. The element is named after the spouses Marie and Pierre Currie, who are recognized for discovering radium.
Electron microscopy services for
the materials science
To ensure optimal system performance, we provide you access to a world-class network of field service experts, technical support, and certified spare parts.