Berkelium(III) chloride

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Berkelium(III) chloride
Berkelium(III) chloride.png
Other names
  • Berkelium trichloride
3D model (JSmol)
PubChem CID
  • InChI=1S/Bk.3ClH/h;3*1H/p-3
  • [Cl-].[Cl-].[Cl-].[Bk+3]
Molar mass 353.36 g/mol
AppearanceGreen solid
Melting point 603 °C (1,117 °F; 876 K) [1]
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).

Berkelium(III) chloride also known as berkelium trichloride, is a chemical compound with the formula BkCl3. It is a water-soluble green solid with a melting point of 603 °C. This compound forms the hexahydrate, BkCl3·6H2O.


Preparation and reactions

This compound was first prepared in 1970 by reacting hydrogen chloride gas and berkelium(IV) oxide or berkelium(III) oxide at 520 °C: [2]

Bk2O3 + 6HCl → 2BkCl3 + 3H2O

Berkelium(III) chloride reacts with beryllocene to produce berkelocene(Bk(C5H5)3). [3] It also reacts with oxalic acid to produce berkelium oxalate. This reaction is used to purify this compound, by reacting the oxalate with hydrochloric acid. [4]


Anhydrous berkelium(III) chloride has a hexagonal crystal structure, is isostructural to uranium trichloride, and has the person symbol hP6. When heated it its melting point, it converts to an orthorhombic phase. [2] However, the hexahydrate has a monoclinic crystal structure and is isostructural to americium trichloride hexahydrate with the lattice constants a = 966 pm, b = 654 pm and c = 797 pm. [5] This hexahydrate consists of BkCl2(OH2)6+ ions and Cl ions.


Caesium sodium berkelium chloride is known with the formula Cs2NaBkCl6 and is produced by the reaction of berkelium(III) hydroxide, hydrochloric acid, and caesium chloride. [6]

Related Research Articles

Berkelium Chemical element, symbol Bk and atomic number 97

Berkelium is a transuranic radioactive chemical element with the symbol Bk and atomic number 97. It is a member of the actinide and transuranium element series. It is named after the city of Berkeley, California, the location of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where it was discovered in December 1949. Berkelium was the fifth transuranium element discovered after neptunium, plutonium, curium and americium.

Curium Chemical element, symbol Cm and atomic number 96

Curium is a transuranic, radioactive chemical element with the symbol Cm and atomic number 96. This element of the actinide series was named after eminent scientists Marie and Pierre Curie, both known for their research on radioactivity. Curium was first intentionally made by the team of Glenn T. Seaborg, Ralph A. James, and Albert Ghiorso in 1944, using the cyclotron at Berkeley. They bombarded a piece of the newly discovered element plutonium with alpha particles. This was then sent to the Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago where a tiny sample of curium was eventually separated and identified. The discovery was kept secret until after the end of the World War II. The news was released to the public in November 1947. Most curium is produced by bombarding uranium or plutonium with neutrons in nuclear reactors – one tonne of spent nuclear fuel contains about 20 grams of curium.

Praseodymium(III) chloride Chemical compound

Praseodymium(III) chloride is the inorganic compound with the formula PrCl3. Like other lanthanide trichlorides, it exists both in the anhydrous and hydrated forms. It is a blue-green solid that rapidly absorbs water on exposure to moist air to form a light green heptahydrate.

Neodymium(III) chloride or neodymium trichloride is a chemical compound of neodymium and chlorine with the formula NdCl3. This anhydrous compound is a mauve-colored solid that rapidly absorbs water on exposure to air to form a purple-colored hexahydrate, NdCl3·6H2O. Neodymium(III) chloride is produced from minerals monazite and bastnäsite using a complex multistage extraction process. The chloride has several important applications as an intermediate chemical for production of neodymium metal and neodymium-based lasers and optical fibers. Other applications include a catalyst in organic synthesis and in decomposition of waste water contamination, corrosion protection of aluminium and its alloys, and fluorescent labeling of organic molecules (DNA).

Cobalt(II) chloride Chemical compound

Cobalt(II) chloride is an inorganic compound of cobalt and chlorine, with the formula CoCl
. The compound forms several hydrates CoCl
, for n = 1, 2, 6, and 9. Claims of the formation of tri- and tetrahydrates have not been confirmed. The anhydrous form is a blue crystalline solid; the dihydrate is purple and the hexahydrate is pink. Commercial samples are usually the hexahydrate, which is one of the most commonly used cobalt compounds in the lab.

Chromium(III) chloride Chemical compound

Chromium(III) chloride (also called chromic chloride) describes any of several chemical compounds with the formula CrCl3 · xH2O, where x can be 0, 5, and 6. The anhydrous compound with the formula CrCl3 is a violet solid. The most common form of the trichloride is the dark green hexahydrate, CrCl3 · 6 H2O. Chromium chlorides find use as catalysts and as precursors to dyes for wool.

Rhodium(III) chloride Chemical compound

Rhodium(III) chloride refers to inorganic compounds with the formula RhCl3(H2O)n, where n varies from 0 to 3. These are diamagnetic solids featuring octahedral Rh(III) centres. Depending on the value of n, the material is either a dense brown solid or a soluble reddish salt. The soluble trihydrated (n = 3) salt is widely used to prepare compounds used in homogeneous catalysis, notably for the industrial production of acetic acid and hydroformylation.

Scandium chloride Chemical compound

Scandium(III) chloride is the inorganic compound with the formula ScCl3. It is a white, high-melting ionic compound, which is deliquescent and highly water-soluble. This salt is mainly of interest in the research laboratory. Both the anhydrous form and hexahydrate (ScCl3•6H2O) are commercially available.

Erbium(III) chloride Chemical compound

Erbium(III) chloride is a violet solid with the formula ErCl3. It is used in the preparation of erbium metal.

Arsenic trichloride Chemical compound

Arsenic trichloride is an inorganic compound with the formula AsCl3, also known as arsenous chloride or butter of arsenic. This poisonous oil is colourless, although impure samples may appear yellow. It is an intermediate in the manufacture of organoarsenic compounds.

Organoactinide chemistry

Organoactinide chemistry is the science exploring the properties, structure and reactivity of organoactinide compounds, which are organometallic compounds containing a carbon to actinide chemical bond.

Americium(III) chloride Chemical compound

Americium(III) chloride or americium trichloride is the chemical compound composed of americium and chlorine with the formula AmCl3. This salt forms pink hexagonal crystals. In the solid state each americium atom has nine chlorine atoms as near neighbours, at approximately the same distance, in a tricapped trigonal prismatic configuration.

Niobium(IV) chloride Chemical compound

Niobium(IV) chloride, also known as niobium tetrachloride, is the chemical compound of formula NbCl4. This compound exists as dark violet crystals, is highly sensitive to air and moisture, and disproportiates into niobium(III) chloride and niobium(V) chloride when heated.

Californium compounds

Few compounds of californium have been made and studied. The only californium ion that is stable in aqueous solutions is the californium(III) cation. The other two oxidation states are IV (strong oxidizing agents) and II (strong reducing agents). The element forms a water-soluble chloride, nitrate, perchlorate, and sulfate and is precipitated as a fluoride, oxalate or hydroxide. If problems of availability of the element could be overcome, then CfBr2 and CfI2 would likely be stable.

Berkelium compounds Any chemical compound having at least one berkelium atom

Berkelium forms a number of chemical compounds, where it normally exists in an oxidation state of +3 or +4, and behaves similarly to its lanthanide analogue, terbium. Like all actinides, berkelium easily dissolves in various aqueous inorganic acids, liberating gaseous hydrogen and converting into the trivalent oxidation state. This trivalent state is the most stable, especially in aqueous solutions, but tetravalent berkelium compounds are also known. The existence of divalent berkelium salts is uncertain and has only been reported in mixed lanthanum chloride-strontium chloride melts. Aqueous solutions of Bk3+ ions are green in most acids. The color of the Bk4+ ions is yellow in hydrochloric acid and orange-yellow in sulfuric acid. Berkelium does not react rapidly with oxygen at room temperature, possibly due to the formation of a protective oxide surface layer; however, it reacts with molten metals, hydrogen, halogens, chalcogens and pnictogens to form various binary compounds. Berkelium can also form several organometallic compounds.

Metal bis(trimethylsilyl)amides

Metal bis(trimethylsilyl)amides are coordination complexes composed of a cationic metal with anionic bis(trimethylsilyl)amide ligands and are part of a broader category of metal amides.

<i>cis</i>-Dichlorobis(bipyridine)ruthenium(II) Chemical compound

cis-Dichlorobis(bipyridine)ruthenium(II) is the coordination complex with the formula RuCl2(bipy)2, where bipy is 2,2'-bipyridine. It is a dark green diamagnetic solid that is a precursor to many other complexes of ruthenium, mainly by substitution of the two chloride ligands. The compound has been crystallized as diverse hydrates.

Transition metal chloride complex Coordination complex

In chemistry, a transition metal chloride complex is a coordination complex that consists of a transition metal coordinated to one or more chloride ligand. The class of complexes is extensive.

Californium(III) bromide Chemical compound

Californium(III) bromide is an inorganic compound, a salt with a chemical formula CfBr3. Like in californium oxide (Cf2O3) and other californium halides, including californium(III) fluoride (CfF3), californium(III) chloride, and californium(III) iodide (CfI3), the californium atom has an oxidation state of +3.

Berkelium(IV) oxide Chemical compound

Berkelium(IV) oxide, also known as berkelium dioxide, is a chemical compound with the formula BkO2. This compound slowly decays to californium(IV) oxide. It can be converted to berkelium(III) oxide by hydrogen reduction at 600 °C.


  1. Holleman, Arnold F. and Wiberg, Nils Textbook of Inorganic Chemistry, 102 Edition, de Gruyter, Berlin 2007, ISBN   978-3-11-017770-1
  2. 1 2 J. R. Peterson; B. B. Cunningham (1968). "Crystal structures and lattice parameters of the compounds of berkelium—II: Berkelium trichloride". Journal of Inorganic and Nuclear Chemistry. 3 (3): 823–828. doi:10.1016/S0898-8838(08)60204-4Get.
  3. Peter G. Laubereau; John H. Burns (1970). "Microchemical preparation of tricyclopentadienyl compounds of berkelium, californium, and some lanthanide elements". Inorg. Chem. 9 (5): 1091–1095. doi:10.1021/ic50087a018.
  4. J. R. Peterson; J. P. Young; D. D. Ensor; R. G. Haire (1986). "Absorption spectrophotometric and x-ray diffraction studies of the trichlorides of berkelium-249 and californium-249". Inorg. Chem. en. 25 (21): 3779–3782. doi:10.1021/ic00241a015.
  5. John H. Burns; Joseph Richard Peterson (1971). "Crystal structures of americium trichloride hexahydrate and berkelium trichloride hexahydrate". Inorg. Chem. 10 (1): 147–151. doi:10.1021/ic50095a029.
  6. Peterson J. R. and Hobart D. E. "The Chemistry of Berkelium" in Harry Julius Emeléus (Ed.) Advances in inorganic chemistry and radiochemistry, Volume 28, Academic Press, 1984 ISBN   0-12-023628-1, pp. 29–64, doi : 10.1016/S0898-8838(08)60204-4