Osmium metal is almost entirely used to produce very hard alloys with other 

metals of the platinum group. Osmium tetroxide has recently been used to detect 

fingerprints and as an aid to stain biological samples in preparation for microscopy 

studies. Osmium is available as metal and compounds with purities from 99% to 

99.999% (ACS grade to ultra-high purity). Elemental or metallic forms include 

pellets, rod, wire and granules for evaporation source material purposes.Osmium 

nanoparticles and nanopowders are also available. Oxides are available in 

powder and dense pellet form for such uses as optical coating and thin film 

applications. Oxides tend to be insoluble. Fluorides are another insoluble form for 

uses in which oxygen is undesirable such as metallurgy, chemical and physical 

vapor deposition and in some optical coatings. Osmium is also available in soluble 

forms including chlorides, nitrates and acetates. These compounds can be 

manufactured as solutions at specified stoichiometries.