43Tc Technetium

Year Discovered


Discovered By

Carlo Perrier and Emilio Segre of Italy

Biological Rating

Not necessary for life.


Named for the Greek word technikos, which means artificial, technetium is a silvery-gray radioactive metal. Technetium has a short half-life, so any natural technetium the Earth possessed has long since disappeared. It is found in cool, red stars, however. Artificially produced technetium is a somewhat reactive metal, slowly reacting with air and acid. Technetium has few industrial or commercial uses. It is a superconductor at very low temperatures and is used in medical radiation imaging as a tracer. Technetium was the first artificially produced element and was created by bombarding molybdenum with a stream of neutrons. The most stable isotope of technetium has a half-life of 420,000 years.

Biological Benefits

Technetium has no biological use.

Role in Life Processes

No known benefits for life processes.


Technetium does not exist in the Earth’s crust, nor found in any mineral. Currently, it is only produced by artificial nuclear fission reactions.