Rhodium

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Rhodium (play /ˈrdiəm/ ROH-dee-əm) is a chemical element that is a rare, silvery-white, hard and chemically inert transition metal and a member of the platinum group. It has the chemical symbol Rh and atomic number 45. Naturally-occurring rhodium is composed of only one isotope, 103Rh. It is one of the rarest precious metals and, with a price of about US$80,000/kg in 2010, is the most expensive member of that class.[3]

Rhodium was discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston. It is found in platinum- or nickel ores together with the other members of the platinum group metals. Rhodium is mostly used as a catalyst in the three-way catalytic converter. Rhodium is inert against corrosion and most aggressive chemicals, and because of that and its rarity, rhodium is usually alloyed with platinum or palladium and applied in high-temperature and corrosion-resistive coatings. White gold is often plated with a thin rhodium layer to improve its optical impression while sterling silver is often rhodium plated for tarnish resistance. Rhodium detectors are used in nuclear reactors to measure the neutron flux level.

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