Oganesson is element 118 on the periodic table, with element symbol Og. It is a radioactive synthetic element (does not occur in nature). Oganesson has the highest atomic number of any element on the periodic table. Here is a collection of oganesson facts, including its discovery, uses, sources, atomic data, and physical data.
Basic Oganesson Facts
Atomic Number: 118
Element Symbol: Og
Group: Group 18
Period: Period 7
Element Family: Noble Gas (although likely a metallic-looking solid at room temperature and pressure)
Atomic Mass: 
Electron Configuration: [Rn] 5f14 6d10 7s2 7p6 (predicted)
Electrons per Shell: 2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 18, 8 (predicted)
Discovery: Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (Russia) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (US) (2002)
Name Origin: Named for Yuri Oganessian
History of Discovery
In 1999, the Lawrence Berkeley lab in California announced the discovery of element 118. But, it turned out the lead scientist (Ninov) had fabricated data, so the discovery was retracted. In 2002, Russian scientists at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, working together with researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (US) announced the discovery of element 118. The Russian team, led by Yuri Oganessian, bombarded californium-249 with calcium-48 ions to produce three atoms of oganesson.
Prior to getting an official name, oganesson was known as eka-radon or ununoctium (Uuo). Because these names were cumbersome, most people simply called it “element 118.” Before retracting their discovery in 2001, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory intended to name element 118 ghiorsium (Gh) after nuclear scientist Albert Ghiorso. In 2006, the IUPAC awarded naming rights to the element to the Russian team from Dubna. They considered the names flyorium (for the founder of the Dubna lab, Georgy Flyorov) and moskovium (for the Moscow Oblast, where Dubna is located. Variations of these names were eventually assigned to element 114 (flerovium) and element 116 (moscovium). In a conference call on March 23, 2016, the scientists involved in the discovery of elements 115, 117, and 118 asked Yuri Oganessian to leave the call and unanimously voted to name the new element oganesson in his honor. Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said they had also intended to propose the name. The element name became official on November 28, 2016. At the time of naming, Yuri Oganessian had been a pioneer in the field of superheavy element research for over sixty years and had been involved in the synthesis of elements from 107 up to 118.
All isotopes of oganesson are radioactive. The one synthesized isotope is oganesson-294, with a half-life of 0.69 ms. Oganesson-295 is believed to have a half-life of 181 ms). Both of these isotopes undergo alpha decay into livermorium. Researchers predict oganesson-297 (should it ever be synthesized) might be more stable because of the ratio between its protons and neutrons.
Presently, the only use for oganesson is research into the element’s properties and perhaps work to synthesize new superheavy elements.
Biological Role and Toxicity
Because it’s a synthetic element, oganesson serves no biological role in any organism. Exposure to the element would be toxic because of its radioactivity. But, since it’s an alpha-emitter, it might be reasonably safe to handle with gloves. Because it’s more reactive than other noble gases, oganesson may be poisonous as well as radioactive.
Sources of Oganesson
Oganesson does not occur naturally. The only source of the element is a nuclear research laboratory.
State at STP: solid (predicted)
Density: 4.9–5.1 g/cm3 (predicted)
Melting Point: 20 K (50 °C, 120 °F) (predicted)
Boiling Point: 350±30 K (80±30 °C, 170±50 °F) (predicted)
Critical Point: 439 K, 6.8 MPa (predicted)
Heat of Fusion: 23.5 kJ/mol (predicted)
Heat of Vaporization: 19.4 kJ/mol (predicted)
Covalent Radius: 157 pm (predicted)
1st Ionization Energy: 860.1 kJ/mol (predicted)
2nd Ionization Energy: 1560 kJ/mol (predicted)
Oxidation States: -1, 0, +1, +2, +4, +6 (predicted)
Crystal Structure: face-centered cubic (fcc) (predicted)
Interesting Oganesson Facts
- Oganesson is one of only two elements named after a person living at the time of naming. The other element is seaborgium. At the time of this writing, oganesson is the only element named for a person still-living (Yuri Oganessian).
- Its position on the periodic table puts oganesson in the noble gas group, but the element almost certainly isn’t a gas and behaves more like a metalloid or post-transition metal than any noble gas. It’s expected to be a metallic solid. While the most common oxidation state of other noble gases is 0 (relatively unreactive), the +4 and +6 oxidation states are most likely the preferred states for element 118. It very likely forms compounds.
- The reason oganesson may be a solid is because it has so many electrons that the outer ones orbit the atomic nucleus at relativistic speeds.
- If oganesson forms a gas, it will be one of the densest gases ever known, even if it is monatomic. It’s possible oganesson forms a diatomic gas (Og2).
- Oganesson likely acts as a semiconductor. The lighter noble gases are all insulators.
- Oganesson may form an ionic bond with fluorine. In contrast, other noble gases form covalent bonds with fluorine (if they form any bonds at all).
- Because of the expense of its production and speedy radioactive decay, all of the properties of oganesson are predicted rather than known experimentally.
- Hoffman, Darleane C.; Lee, Diana M.; Pershina, Valeria (2006). “Transactinides and the future elements”. In Morss; Edelstein, Norman M.; Fuger, Jean (eds.). The Chemistry of the Actinide and Transactinide Elements (3rd ed.). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer Science+Business Media. ISBN 978-1-4020-3555-5.
- Mewes, Jan-Michael; Smits, Odile Rosette; Jerabek, Paul; Schwerdtfeger, Peter (2019). “Oganesson is a Semiconductor: On the Relativistic Band‐Gap Narrowing in the Heaviest Noble‐Gas Solids”. Angewandte Chemie. 58 (40): 14260–14264. doi:10.1002/anie.201908327
- Nash, Clinton S. (2005). “Atomic and Molecular Properties of Elements 112, 114, and 118”. Journal of Physical Chemistry A. 109 (15): 3493–3500. doi:10.1021/jp050736o
- Oganessian, Yu. Ts.; Utyonkov, V. K.; Lobanov, Yu. V.; Abdullin, F. Sh.; Polyakov, A. N.; Sagaidak, R. N.; Shirokovsky, I. V.; Tsyganov, Yu. S.; et al. (2006). “Synthesis of the isotopes of elements 118 and 116 in the 249Cf and 245Cm+48Ca fusion reactions”. Physical Review C. 74 (4): 044602. doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.74.044602