Darmstadtium is an element that was first discovered by researchers in 1994 at the Heavy Ion Research Laboratory (GSI) in Germany. It is named for the city of Darmstadt where it was synthesized, and is classified as a transition metal in the periodic table.
It was first created through a nuclear reaction that involved bombarding lead-208 atoms with nickel-62 ions in a linear accelerator. This experiment produced one atom of darmstadtium-269, a isotope that has a half-life of about 0.17 milliseconds.
This isotope has been used in several research experiments, including studying the properties of erbium and bohrium. It is also a common constituent in the compound Er3Ni, which has been found to have magnetic properties that allow it to function as a regenerator material for low-temperature cryocoolers.
The group at GSI, led by Peter Armbruster and Gottfried Munzenberg, discovered this element. They are responsible for the discovery of several other heavy elements, such as bohrium in 1981, meitnerium in 1982, hassium in 1984, roentgenium in 1994, and copernicium in 1996.
Unlike most other heavy elements, darmstadtium does not occur naturally on the Earth’s surface. The only way to make it is via a nuclear reaction that involves the fusion of lead-208 with one of the element’s homologues, nickel or palladium.
As a transactinide d-block element, darmstadtium is found in the seventh period of group 10 of the periodic table. It is a radioactive metal that has only been produced in very small quantities. It is unstable and decays very quickly to form another element.