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Nickel [Ni] – Element Details, History, Atomic Structure, Facts, Properties, Electronic Configuration, Atomic Spectrum, Uses.


Element 28 of Periodic table is Nickel with atomic number 28, atomic weight 58.6934. Nickel, symbol Ni, has a Face Centered Cubic structure and Gray color. Nickel is a Transition Metal element. It is part of group 10 (nickel family). Know everything about Nickel Facts, Physical Properties, Chemical Properties, Electronic configuration, Atomic and Crystal Structure.

History of Nickel

The element Nickel was discovered by F. Cronstedt in year 1751 in Sweden. Nickel was first isolated by F. Cronstedt in 1751. Nickel derived its name from Swedish kopparnickel, containing the German word Nickel, ‘goblin’.

Found by attempting to extract copper from the mineral known as fake copper (now known asniccolite).

How to Locate Nickel on Periodic Table

Periodic table is arranged by atomic number, number of protons in the nucleus which is same as number of electrons. The atomic number increases from left to right. Periodic table starts at top left ( Atomic number 1) and ends at bottom right (atomic number 118). Therefore you can directly look for atomic number 28 to find Nickel on periodic table.

Another way to read periodic table and locate an element is by using group number (column) and period number (row). To locate Nickel on periodic table look for cross section of group 10 and period 4 in the modern periodic table.

Nickel Facts

Atomic Symbol
Atomic Number
Atomic Weight
Transition Metal
Group in Periodic Table
Group Name
Nickel family
Block in Periodic Table
Period in Periodic Table
Electronic Configuration
[Ar] 3d8 4s2
Melting Point
1728 K
Boiling Point
3186 K
Electronic Shell Structure
[2, 8, 16, 2]
CAS Number

Nickel Atomic Structure and Orbital Properties

Nickel atoms have 28 electrons and the electronic shell structure is [2, 8, 16, 2] with Atomic Term Symbol (Quantum Numbers) 3F4.

Element Properties

Atomic Number
Number of Protons
Mass Number
Number of Neutrons
Shell structure (Electrons per energy level)
[2, 8, 16, 2]
Electron Configuration
[Ar] 3d8 4s2
Valence Electrons
3d8 4s2
Oxidation State
-2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4
Atomic Term Symbol (Quantum Numbers)

Atomic Structure of Nickel

Atomic Radius
149 pm (1.49 Å)
Atomic Radius Empirical
135 pm (1.35 Å)
Atomic Volume
6.5888 cm3/mol
Covalent Radius
121 pm (1.21 Å)
Van der Waals Radius
163 pm
Neutron Cross Section
Neutron Mass Absorption

Crystal Structure of Nickel

The solid state structure of Nickel is Face Centered Cubic.

The Crystal structure can be described in terms of its unit Cell. The unit Cells repeats itself in three dimensional space to form the structure.

The unit cell is represented in terms of its lattice parameters, which are the lengths of the cell edges Lattice Constants (a[352.4 pm]b[352.4 pm] and c[352.4 pm]) and the angles between them Lattice Angles (alpha[π/2], beta[π/2] and gamma[π/2])

The positions of the atoms inside the unit cell are described by the set of atomic positions ( xi, yi, zi) measured from a reference lattice point.

The symmetry properties of the crystal are described by the concept of space groups. All possible symmetric arrangements of particles in three-dimensional space are described by the 230 space groups (219 distinct types, or 230 if chiral copies are considered distinct.

Space Group Name

Space Group Number

Crystal Structure

Number of atoms per unit cell

Fm_ 3m


Face Centered Cubic


Ground State Electronic Configuration of Nickel- neutral Nickel atom

Abbreviated electronic configuration of Nickel

The ground state abbreviated electronic configuration of Neutral Nickel atom is [Ar] 3d8 4s2. The portion of Nickel configuration that is equivalent to the noble gas of the preceding period, is abbreviated as [Ar]. For atoms with many electrons, this notation can become lengthy and so an abbreviated notation is used. This is important as it is the Valence electrons 3d8 4s2, electrons in the outermost shell that determine the chemical properties of the element.

Unabbreviated electronic configuration of neutral Nickel

Complete ground state electronic configuration for the Nickel atom, Unabbreviated electronic configuration

1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d8 4s2

Electrons are filled in atomic orbitals as per the order determined by the Aufbau principle, Pauli Exclusion Principle and Hund’s Rule.

  • As per the Aufbau principle the electrons will occupy the orbitals having lower energies before occupying higher energy orbitals. According to this principle, electrons are filled in the following order: 1s, 2s, 2p, 3s, 3p, 4s, 3d, 4p, 5s, 4d, 5p, 6s, 4f, 5d, 6p, 7s, 5f, 6d, 7p…
  • The Pauli exclusion principle states that a maximum of two electrons, each having opposite spins, can fit in an orbital.
  • Hund’s rule states that every orbital in a given subshell is singly occupied by electrons before a second electron is filled in an orbital.

Regulatory and Health - Health and Safety Parameters and Guidelines

CAS Number
RTECS Number
EU Number
DOT Hazard Class
DOT Numbers
NFPA Fire Rating
NFPA Hazards
Autoignition Point
NFPA Health Rating
NFPA Reactivity Rating

Nickel Chemical Properties : Cobalt Ionization Energies and electron affinity

112 kJ/mol

Nickel Physical & Elastic Properties


8.908 g/cm3(when liquid at m.p density is $7.81 g/cm3)

Molar Volume
6.5888 g/cm3
Young Modulus
Shear Modulus
76 GPa
Bulk Modulus
180 GPa
Poisson Ratio

Nickel Electrical Properties

Electrical Conductivity
114000000 S/m
7e-8 m Ω
Superconducting Point

Nickel Magnetic Properties

Magnetic Type
Curie Point
631 K
Mass Magnetic Susceptibility
Molar Magnetic Susceptibility
Volume Magnetic Susceptibility

Nickel Thermal Properties

Melting Point
1728 K (1454.85°C, 2650.73 °F)
Boiling Point
3186 K (2912.85°C, 5275.129999999999 °F)
Critical Temperature
Superconducting Point

Use of Nickel

Huge volume of Nickel is used for Armour plating. Nickel alloys are used in boat propeller shafts and turbine blades. Nickel is used in batteries. Nickel has a long history of being used in coins.

106. Seaborgium [Sg]