Chemical studies on element 104, rutherfordium (Rf), at JAERI (Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute) are reviewed. The transactinide nuclide 261Rf has been produced in the reaction 248Cm( 18O, 5n) at the JAERI tandem accelerator with the production cross section of about 13 nb. On-line anion-exchange experiments on Rf together with the lighter homologues, group-4 elements Zr and Hf, in acidic solutions have been conducted with a rapid ion-exchange separation apparatus. From the systematic study of the anion-exchange behavior of Rf, it has been found that the properties of Rf in HCl and HNO3 solutions are quite similar to those of Zr and Hf, definitely confirming that Rf is a member of the group-4 elements. However, we have observed an unexpected chemical behavior of Rf in HF solutions; the fluoride complex formation of Rf is significantly different from those of the homologues. Prospects of extending chemical studies on transactinide elements in the near future at JAERI are briefly considered.
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