Discovered in the fifteenth century, although its discoverer is not known. Bismuth is a brittle metal which is silvery in colour with a pink tinge. It is stable in air and water. It has poor thermal and electrical properties and finds applications in the manufacture of fusible alloys, a range of materials with low melting points which are suitable for various applications including solders and thermal fuses. Pure bismuth shows a high absorbtion of gamma rays which makes it useful as a filter or window for these particles, whilst at the same time permitting the passage of neutrons.
Un materiale ad alta purezza usato come fonte per lo sputtering, un processo di vaporizzazione a freddo nel quale gli atomi vengono fisicamente rimossi dalla superficie target mediante un bombardamento di ioni.