Home | Chemistry | Cadmium-Discovery, Properties, And Applications

Cadmium-Discovery, Properties, And Applications

October 16, 2023
written by Adeel Abbas

Cadmium is a soft, bluish-white metal that is found naturally in the Earth’s crust. It is a relatively rare element, and its use is primarily industrial in nature. Cadmium has a variety of useful properties that make it a valuable material in several industries, but it is also highly toxic and can be dangerous to human health.

image of cadmium element
Atomic number48
Relative atomic mass (Ar)Group in the periodic table
Standard stateSolid at 298 K
AppearanceSilvery grey metallic
Block in the periodic table12
Group name(none)
Period in periodic table5
Period in the periodic tabled
Shell structure2.
CAS Registry7440-43-9


Cadmium was first discovered in 1817 by Friedrich Stromeyer, a German chemist. Stromeyer was examining a sample of zinc carbonate when he noticed that it turned yellow when heated, indicating the presence of an unknown element. He isolated the element and named it after the Greek word for zinc ore, “kadmeia.”

Physical Properties

Cadmium is a soft, ductile metal that is highly malleable and can be easily shaped into various forms. It has a bluish-white color and a low melting point of 321.1 °C, which makes it useful in alloys with other metals such as copper and silver. It is also highly resistant to corrosion and oxidation, which makes it a valuable material for use in batteries, coatings, and plating.

Chemical Properties

Cadmium is a relatively unreactive metal, and it does not form many compounds in its pure form. However, it can combine with other elements to form a wide range of compounds, including oxides, sulfides, and halides. These compounds are used in a variety of applications, such as pigments, plastics, and fertilizers.


  • Cadmium is often used as a coating on steel to prevent rusting.
  • It is a byproduct of zinc mining and refining.
  • Exposure to cadmium can cause lung and prostate cancer, as well as other health problems such as kidney damage and high blood pressure.
  • Cadmium is used in many rechargeable batteries, including those found in laptops and cell phones.


Cadmium has a variety of industrial applications due to its unique properties. It is used in batteries, pigments, coatings, and plating. It is also used in the production of plastic and synthetic rubber, and in the manufacturing of certain types of semiconductors.

In addition, cadmium is often used in nuclear reactors as a neutron absorber. Its ability to absorb neutrons makes it useful in controlling the rate of nuclear fission, and it is commonly found in control rods that are used to regulate the power output of nuclear reactors.