cover image


Chemical element, symbol Sn and atomic number 50 / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dear Wikiwand AI, let's keep it short by simply answering these key questions:

Can you list the top facts and stats about Tin?

Summarize this article for a 10 years old


Tin is a chemical element with the symbol Sn (from Latin stannum) and atomic number 50. A silvery-coloured metal, tin is soft enough to be cut with little force,[8] and a bar of tin can be bent by hand with little effort. When bent, the so-called "tin cry" can be heard as a result of twinning in tin crystals;[9] this trait is shared by indium, cadmium, zinc, and mercury in its solid state.

Quick facts: Tin, Allotropes, Standard atomic weight .mw-p...
Tin, 50Sn
Allotropessilvery-white, β (beta); gray, α (alpha)
Standard atomic weight Ar°(Sn)
  • 118.710±0.007
  • 118.71±0.01 (abridged)[1]
Tin in the periodic table


Atomic number (Z)50
Groupgroup 14 (carbon group)
Periodperiod 5
Block  p-block
Electron configuration[Kr] 4d10 5s2 5p2
Electrons per shell2, 8, 18, 18, 4
Physical properties
Phase at STPsolid
Melting point505.08 K (231.93 °C, 449.47 °F)
Boiling point2875 K (2602 °C, 4716 °F)
Density (near r.t.)white, β: 7.265 g/cm3
gray, α: 5.769 g/cm3
when liquid (at m.p.)6.99 g/cm3
Heat of fusionwhite, β: 7.03 kJ/mol
Heat of vaporizationwhite, β: 296.1 kJ/mol
Molar heat capacitywhite, β: 27.112 J/(mol·K)
Vapor pressure
P (Pa) 1 10 100 1 k 10 k 100 k
at T (K) 1497 1657 1855 2107 2438 2893
Atomic properties
Oxidation states−4, −3, −2, −1, 0,[2] +1,[3] +2, +3,[4] +4 (an amphoteric oxide)
ElectronegativityPauling scale: 1.96
Ionization energies
  • 1st: 708.6 kJ/mol
  • 2nd: 1411.8 kJ/mol
  • 3rd: 2943.0 kJ/mol
Atomic radiusempirical: 140 pm
Covalent radius139±4 pm
Van der Waals radius217 pm
Color lines in a spectral range
Spectral lines of tin
Other properties
Natural occurrenceprimordial
Crystal structure body-centered tetragonal
Body-centered tetragonal crystal structure for tin

white (β)
Crystal structure face-centered diamond-cubic
Diamond cubic crystal structure for tin

gray (α)
Speed of sound thin rod2730 m/s (at r.t.) (rolled)
Thermal expansion22.0 µm/(m⋅K) (at 25 °C)
Thermal conductivity66.8 W/(m⋅K)
Electrical resistivity115 nΩ⋅m (at 0 °C)
Magnetic orderinggray: diamagnetic[5]
white (β): paramagnetic
Molar magnetic susceptibility(white) +3.1×10−6 cm3/mol (298 K)[6]
Young's modulus50 GPa
Shear modulus18 GPa
Bulk modulus58 GPa
Poisson ratio0.36
Mohs hardness1.5
Brinell hardness50–440 MPa
CAS Number7440-31-5
Discoveryprotohistoric, around 35th century BC
Symbol"Sn": from Latin stannum
Isotopes of tin
Main isotopes[7] Decay
abun­dance half-life (t1/2) mode pro­duct
112Sn 0.970% stable
114Sn 0.66% stable
115Sn 0.34% stable
116Sn 14.5% stable
117Sn 7.68% stable
118Sn 24.2% stable
119Sn 8.59% stable
120Sn 32.6% stable
122Sn 4.63% stable
124Sn 5.79% stable
126Sn trace 2.3×105 y β 126Sb
Symbol_category_class.svg Category: Tin
| references

Pure tin after solidifying presents a mirror-like appearance similar to most metals. In most tin alloys (e.g. pewter) the metal solidifies with a dull grey colour.

Tin is a post-transition metal in group 14 of the periodic table of elements. It is obtained chiefly from the mineral cassiterite, which contains stannic oxide, SnO
. Tin shows a chemical similarity to both of its neighbors in group 14, germanium and lead, and has two main oxidation states, +2 and the slightly more stable +4. Tin is the 49th-most abundant element on Earth and has, with 10 stable isotopes, the largest number of stable isotopes in the periodic table, due to its magic number of protons.

It has two main allotropes: at room temperature, the stable allotrope is β-tin, a silvery-white, malleable metal; at low temperatures it is less dense grey α-tin, which has the diamond cubic structure. Metallic tin does not easily oxidize in air and water.

The first tin alloy used on a large scale was bronze, made of 18 tin and 78 copper (12.5% and 87.5% respectively), from as early as 3000 BC. After 600 BC, pure metallic tin was produced. Pewter, which is an alloy of 85–90% tin with the remainder commonly consisting of copper, antimony, bismuth, and sometimes lead and silver, has been used for flatware since the Bronze Age. In modern times, tin is used in many alloys, most notably tin-lead soft solders, which are typically 60% or more tin, and in the manufacture of transparent, electrically conducting films of indium tin oxide in optoelectronic applications. Another large application is corrosion-resistant tin plating of steel. Because of the low toxicity of inorganic tin, tin-plated steel is widely used for food packaging as "tin cans". Some organotin compounds can be extremely toxic.