12 nm film deposited on fused silica by magnetron sputtering.
A. Sytchkova, A. Belosludtsev, L. Volosevičienė, R. Juškėnas, R. Simniškis. Optical, structural and electrical properties of sputtered ultrathin chromium films, Opt. Mater.121, 111530 (2021) (Numerical data kindly provided by Alexandr Belosludtsev)
Chromium (Cr) is a hard, brittle, silver-gray metal that belongs to the transition metals group in the periodic table. It has a body-centered cubic structure and exhibits various oxidation states, but Cr(III) and Cr(VI) are the most stable and commonly observed. Chromium is best known for its role in the production of stainless steel, where it provides corrosion resistance, and in chrome plating for decorative and protective finishes. It is also used in various other alloys to improve hardness and resistance to wear. In specialized applications, chromium compounds are employed as catalysts, pigments, and tanning agents. Of particular note are its magnetic properties, which are exploited in data storage and other magnetic applications. On the environmental front, certain chromium compounds, particularly those in the hexavalent state (Cr(VI)), are highly toxic and carcinogenic, requiring strict handling and disposal protocols. Overall, chromium is an industrially significant metal with a wide range of applications, but its use is tempered by environmental and health considerations.