Polonium Monoxide – a Chemical Compound

Polonium Monoxide – a Chemical Compound

Polonium monoxide, also known as PoO, is a chemical compound. It is one of three polonium oxides, along with polonium dioxide (PoO2) and polonium trioxide (PoO3). It is a type of interchalcogen. Polonium is a radioactive element, and its compounds are likely to be radioactive as well. Polonium is a rare and highly toxic metal with no biological significance.

Polonium and its compounds are not commonly used in everyday applications due to their radioactivity. In fact, polonium is better known for its historical links to poisonings than for any beneficial applications.


  • Chemical formula: PoO
  • Molar mass: 224.98 g/mol
  • Appearance: black solid


Polonium is well-known for its high radioactivity. One of its isotopes, polonium-210, decays via alpha emission. This property is most likely present in any polonium-containing compound, including polonium monoxide.

Polonium is expected to have chemical properties similar to those of other elements in its group (Group 16 or chalcogens). Under certain conditions, it can react with oxygen to form polonium monoxide (PoO).

Appearance and preparation

Polonium monoxide is a black solid. It is formed during the radiolysis of polonium sulfite (PoSO3) and polonium selenite (PoSeO3).


On contact with oxygen or water, both polonium monoxide and its related hydroxide (polonium(II) hydroxide, Po(OH)2) are oxidized quickly to Po(IV).


Given the highly radioactive nature of polonium, any compound containing it, including polonium monoxide, would be extremely hazardous and toxic.