Oxygen (O) - Element Information, Facts, Properties, Uses - Periodic Table of the Elements (2024)

Oxygen History

The element Oxygen was discovered by W. Scheele in year 1771 in Sweden and United Kingdom. Oxygen was first isolated by W. Scheele in 1771. Oxygen derived its name from the Greek word oxy-, both 'sharp' and 'acid', and -gen, meaning 'acid-forming'.

Discovered By W. Scheele
Discovery Date 1771 in Sweden and United Kingdom
First Isolation 1771
Isolated by W. Scheele

W. Scheele obtained it by heating mercuric oxide and nitrates in 1771, but did not publish his findings until 1777. Joseph Priestley also prepared this new air by 1774, but only Lavoisier recognized it as a true element; he named it in 1777.

Download printable flash card for Oxygen periodic table PDF

Oxygen Uses

Many living things, including humans, use oxygen for respiration. Pure oxygen is used to treat breathing problems and make spacecraft livable. Oxygen in the industry is mostly used in manufacturing steel and other metal alloys. Large quantities are also used in the manufacture of chemicals such as nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide. It is also used as an antifreeze and to make polyester and chloroethene, the precursor to PVC. Oxygen gas is used for oxy-acetylene welding. Some of the growing uses is in treating sewage and effluent from the industry.

Oxygen Presence: Abundance in Nature and Around Us

The table below shows the abundance of Oxygen in Universe, Sun, Meteorites, Earth's Crust, Oceans and Human Body.

ppb by weight (1ppb =10^-7 %)ppb by atoms (1ppb =10^-7 %)
Abundance in Universe10000000800000
Abundance in Sun9000000700000
Abundance in Meteorites410000000480000000
Abundance in Earth's Crust460000000600000000
Abundance in Oceans857000000331000000
Abundance in Humans610000000240000000

Crystal Structure of Oxygen

The solid state structure of Oxygen is Base Centered Monoclinic.

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.

Unit Cell Parameters

The unit cell is represented in terms of its lattice parameters, which are the lengths of the cell edges Lattice Constants (a, b and c)

540.3 pm342.9 pm508.6 pm

and the angles between them Lattice Angles (alpha, beta and gamma).

π/2 2.313085 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 NameC12/m1
Space Group Number12
Crystal StructureBase Centered Monoclinic
Number of atoms per unit cell

Oxygen (O) - Element Information, Facts, Properties, Uses - Periodic Table of the Elements (1)

The number of atoms per unit cell in a simple cubic, face-centered cubic and body-centred cubic are 1,4,2 respectively.

Oxygen Atomic and Orbital Properties

Oxygen atoms have 8 electrons and the electronic shell structure is [2, 6] with Atomic Term Symbol (Quantum Numbers) 3P2.

Atomic Number8
Number of Electrons (with no charge)8
Number of Protons8
Mass Number16
Number of Neutrons8
Shell structure (Electrons per energy level)2, 6
Electron Configuration[He] 2s2 2p4
Valence Electrons2s2 2p4
Valence (Valency)2
Main Oxidation States-2
Oxidation States-2, -1, 0, 1, 2
Atomic Term Symbol (Quantum Numbers)3P2

Bohr Atomic Model of Oxygen - Electrons per energy level

Oxygen (O) - Element Information, Facts, Properties, Uses - Periodic Table of the Elements (2)


Ground State Electronic Configuration of Oxygen - neutral Oxygen atom

Abbreviated electronic configuration of Oxygen

The ground state abbreviated electronic configuration of Neutral Oxygen atom is [He] 2s2 2p4. The portion of Oxygen configuration that is equivalent to the noble gas of the preceding period, is abbreviated as [He]. 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 2s2 2p4, electrons in the outermost shell that determine the chemical properties of the element.

Unabbreviated electronic configuration of neutral Oxygen

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

1s2 2s2 2p4

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.
  • Oxygen (O) - Element Information, Facts, Properties, Uses - Periodic Table of the Elements (3)

    Atomic Structure of Oxygen

    Oxygen atomic radius is 48 pm, while it's covalent radius is 73 pm.

    Atomic Radius Calculated

    48 pm(0.48 Å)

    Atomic Radius Empirical

    60 pm (0.6 Å)

    Atomic Volume22.4134 cm3/mol
    Covalent Radius73 pm (0.73 Å)
    Van der Waals Radius152 pm
    Neutron Cross Section0.00028
    Neutron Mass Absorption 0.000001

    Spectral Lines of Oxygen - Atomic Spectrum of Oxygen

    A spectral line is a dark or bright line in an otherwise uniform and continuous spectrum, resulting from an excess or deficiency of photons in a narrow frequency range, compared with the nearby frequencies. Spectral lines are often used to identify atoms and molecules.

    Spectral lines are the result of interaction between a quantum system and a single photon. A spectral line may be observed either as an emission line or an absorption line.

    Spectral lines are highly atom-specific, and can be used to identify the chemical composition of any medium. Several elements, including helium, thallium, and caesium, were discovered by spectroscopic means. They are widely used to determine the physical conditions of stars and other celestial bodies that cannot be analyzed by other means.

    Emission spectrum of Oxygen

    Oxygen (O) - Element Information, Facts, Properties, Uses - Periodic Table of the Elements (4)

    Absorption spectrum of Oxygen

    Oxygen (O) - Element Information, Facts, Properties, Uses - Periodic Table of the Elements (5)

    Oxygen Chemical Properties: Oxygen Ionization Energies and electron affinity

    The electron affinity of Oxygen is 141 kJ/mol.

    ElectronAffinity141 kJ/mol

    Ionization Energy of Oxygen

    Ionization energy is the amount of energy required to remove an electron from an atom or molecule.in chemistry, this energy is expresed in kilocalories per mole (kcal/mol) or kilojoules per mole (kJ/mol).

    Refer to table below for Ionization energies of Oxygen

    Ionization energy numberEnthalpy - kJ/mol

    Oxygen Physical Properties

    Refer to below table for Oxygen Physical Properties

    Density0.001429 g/cm3
    Molar Volume22.4134 cm3/mol

    Elastic Properties

    Young Modulus-
    Shear Modulus-
    Bulk Modulus -
    Poisson Ratio-

    Hardness of Oxygen - Tests to Measure of Hardness of Element

    Mohs Hardness-
    Vickers Hardness-
    Brinell Hardness-

    Oxygen Electrical Properties

    Electrical resistivity measures element's electrical resistance or how strongly it resists electric current.The SI unit of electrical resistivity is the ohm-metre (Ω⋅m). While Electrical conductivity is the reciprocal of electrical resistivity. It represents a element's ability to conduct electric current. The SI unit of electrical conductivity is siemens per metre (S/m).

    Oxygen is a -. Refer to table below for the Electrical properties of Oxygen

    Electrical conductors -
    Electrical Conductivity-
    Superconducting Point-

    Oxygen Heat and Conduction Properties

    Thermal Conductivity0.02658 W/(m K)
    Thermal Expansion-

    Oxygen Magnetic Properties

    Magnetic TypeParamagnetic
    Curie Point-
    Mass Magnetic Susceptibility0.000001335 m3/kg
    Molar Magnetic Susceptibility4.27184e-8 m3/mol
    Volume Magnetic Susceptibility0.00000190772

    Optical Properties of Oxygen

    Refractive Index1.000271

    Acoustic Properties of Oxygen

    Speed of Sound317.5 m/s

    Oxygen Thermal Properties - Enthalpies and thermodynamics

    Refer to table below for Thermal properties of Oxygen

    Melting Point54.8 K(-218.35 °C, -361.030 °F)
    Boiling Point90.2 K(-182.95 °C, -297.310 °F)
    Critical Temperature154.59 K
    Superconducting Point-

    Enthalpies of Oxygen

    Heat of Fusion0.222 kJ/mol
    Heat of Vaporization3.41 kJ/mol
    Heat of Combustion-

    Oxygen Isotopes - Nuclear Properties of Oxygen

    Oxygen has 17 isotopes, with between 12 and 28 nucleons. Oxygen has 3 stable naturally occuring isotopes.

    Isotopes of Oxygen - Naturally occurring stable Isotopes: 16O, 17O, 18O.

    IsotopeZNIsotope Mass% AbundanceT halfDecay Mode
    Oxygen (O) - Element Information, Facts, Properties, Uses - Periodic Table of the Elements (2024)
    Top Articles
    Latest Posts
    Article information

    Author: Trent Wehner

    Last Updated:

    Views: 5751

    Rating: 4.6 / 5 (56 voted)

    Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Trent Wehner

    Birthday: 1993-03-14

    Address: 872 Kevin Squares, New Codyville, AK 01785-0416

    Phone: +18698800304764

    Job: Senior Farming Developer

    Hobby: Paintball, Calligraphy, Hunting, Flying disc, Lapidary, Rafting, Inline skating

    Introduction: My name is Trent Wehner, I am a talented, brainy, zealous, light, funny, gleaming, attractive person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.