Molybdenum Chemical Properties (21 Facts You Should Know)

Molybdenum does not occur in nature as a free metal, it is obtained in minerals with different oxidation states. Let us discuss the chemical properties of molybdenum.

Molybdenum is a silvery grey metal having a very high melting point (sixth highest on the periodic table). It can form stable and hard carbides in alloys. Most of the compounds containing molybdenum have very much low solubility in water.

Let us focus on the position of molybdenum on the periodic table, isotopes, ionization energy, and radius with some more relevant facts briefly.

Molybdenum Symbol

A Chemical symbol is the abbreviatory alphabet used to determine the atoms or to write the atom in a short form. Let us determine the symbol of molybdenum.

The symbol of molybdenum used in chemistry is Mo. The molybdenum name comes from the Neo-Latin molybdaenum. The term “Mo” is written in the periodic table to identify the position of molybdenum, the first two alphabets of this metal.

Molybdenum Group in Periodic Table

Group is defined as the column of elements on the periodic table. Let us predict the group of molybdenum on the periodic table.

The group of molybdenum on the periodic table is 6 (VIb) which gets its position between niobium, Nb (group 5) and technetium, Tc (group 6).

Molybdenum Period in Periodic Table

A Period is the horizontal row of chemical elements on the periodic table. Let us determine the period of Mo on the periodic table.

Mo or molybdenum belongs to the 5th period on the periodic table which occupies the position between chromium (period 4) and tungsten (period 6).

Molybdenum Block in Periodic Table

A block of the periodic table is defined as a set of elements having almost the same physical and chemical properties. Let us predict the block of Mo.

Molybdenum belongs to the d-block on the periodic table as it has a partially filled d orbital (5 electrons in 4d orbital) electron configuration.

Molybdenum Atomic Number

The atomic number is the total number of protons present in the nucleus of an atom. Let us determine the atomic number of Mo.

Molybdenum has atomic number 42 which means it has 42 numbers of protons in its nucleus.

Molybdenum Atomic Weight

Atomic weight is the mass possessed by an atom. It is expressed as gram (c.g.s) or kilogram (S.I). Let us discuss it.

The atomic weight of molybdenum is 95.95 amu (atomic mass unit). This weight slightly differs for the different isotopes of Mo.

Molybdenum Electronegativity according to Pauling

Electronegativity is a tendency of an atom in a molecule to pull the bonding electron towards itself. Let us determine the electronegativity of Mo according to the Pauling scale.

Molybdenum is a d-block transition metal having electronegativity 2.16 according to the Pauling scale. This value differs in the Sanderson scale (1.15) and the Allred Rochow electronegativity scale (1.30).

Molybdenum Atomic Density

Atomic density is obtained by dividing the atomic mass by the atomic volume. Let us talk about the atomic density of Mo in detail.

The atomic density of Mo is 10.2 mg/m3, a medium-high dense metal.

Molybdenum Melting Point

The melting point defines a particular temperature at which any compound changes its state from solid to liquid. Let us discuss the melting point of Mo.

Molybdenum possesses a very high melting point of 26230 C which indicates a large amount of heat is required to convert solid Mo to liquid Mo.

Molybdenum Boiling Point

The boiling point is a definite temperature at which a liquid substance is converted into its gaseous state. Let us explore it.

Molybdenum also has a very high boiling point, 46390 C like the melting point.

Molybdenum Van der Waals Radius

Van der Waals radius is half of the distance between two atoms (unbounded). Let us discuss this.

The Van der Waals radius of Mo is 209 pm but it has its atomic radius, 139 pm, slightly shorter than the Van der Waals radius.

Molybdenum Ionic Radius

Ionic radius indicates the radius of a monoatomic ion in a crystal structure. Let us determine it.

The ionic radius of Mo is 68 pm which is much shorter than its Van der Waals and atomic radius.

Molybdenum Isotopes

Isotopes belong to a family of an element having the same atomic number but different atomic mass. Let us focus on this.

IsotopesAbundance (in %)Decay mode
99MoSynβ-, γ
100Mo9.74β-, β-
Different Isotopes of Molybdenum

Molybdenum Electronic Shell

The electronic shells are those in which the electrons are revolving keeping the nucleus in the center. Let us discuss this in detail.

Molybdenum has total 42 numbers of electrons in a different electronic shell which can be decided from its electronic configuration. It has electron configuration 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 4d5 5s1. Therefore, it has 5 shells having 2, 8, 18, 13, and 1 electron in the shell.

 Molybdenum Energy of First Ionization

First ionization energy is the energy required to remove the first electron from the valence shell of an atom. Let us talk about this.

The first ionization energy of molybdenum is 7.0924 eV (electron volt). Mo + I.E = Mo+ + e = 7.0924 eV.

Molybdenum Oxidation States

The oxidation state is the hypothetical charge of an atom considering all of its bonds with different atoms as ionic. Let us comment on this.

Mo can have different oxidation states like +2, +3, +4, +5, and +6 according to the molecule it is present.

Molybdenum CAS Number

A CAS registry number is an authentic numeric identifier divided by hyphens into three parts. Let us determine it.

The CAS ID of molybdenum is 7439-98-7. We can easily search by this number to get Mo.

Molybdenum ChemSpider ID

ChemSpider ID, owned by the Royal Society of Chemistry, is a database of chemicals. Let us find it.

The ChemSpider ID of molybdenum is 22374.

Molybdenum Chemical Classification

Chemical classification is done according to the physical or chemical properties of elements. Let us clarify it.

Molybdenum is classified as the transition metal as it has an incompletely filled d-orbital (4d5).

Molybdenum State at Room Temperature

The physical state of an atom depends upon its melting and boiling point. Let us talk about this in detail.

Molybdenum is presented as a silvery-grey solid substance as it has a high melting and boiling point.

Is Molybdenum Paramagnetic?

Paramagnetism can be determined by the presence of unpaired electrons. Let us predict whether it is paramagnetic or not.

Molybdenum is a paramagnetic substance as it has six unpaired electrons (5 in 4d orbital and one in 5s orbital) in its electron configuration.

Unpaired Electrons in Molybdenum


Molybdenum has various uses in different fields like making alloys, catalysts, lubricants, fertilizer, and pigments. It is also needed in enzymes involving chemical reactions of sulfur and nitrogen compounds in the living body to metabolize the elements which are not good for our health.

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