Erbium

Erbium (Er)

Soft silvery metallic element which belongs to the lanthanoids. Six natural isotopes that are stable. Twelve artificial isotopes are known. Used in nuclear technology as a neutron absorber. It is being investigated for other possible uses. Discovered by Carl G. Mosander in 1843.
Atomic Number68
Atomic Weight167.259
Mass Number166
Group
Period6
Blockf
Protons68 p+
Neutrons98 n0
Electrons68 e-
Erbium.jpg Animated Bohr Model Enhanced Bohr Model Bohr Model Orbital Diagram

Properties

Atomic Radius
175 pm
Atomic Volume
Covalent Radius
165 pm
Metallic Radius
Ionic Radius
89 pm
Crystal Radius
103 pm
Van der Waals radius
229 pm
Density
9.07 g/cm³
Boiling Point
3,136 K
Melting Point
1,802 K
Electrons per shell2, 8, 18, 30, 8, 2
Electronegativity
1.24
Electrophilicity
Proton Affinity
Electron Affinity
Ionization Potential
Heat of Vaporization
317 kJ/mol
Heat of Fusion
Heat of Formation
316.4 kJ/mol
Molar Heat Capacity
28.12 J/(mol K)
Specific Heat Capacity
0.168 J/(g⋅K)
Thermal Conductivity
Gas Basicity
Dipole Polarizability
150 a₀
C6 Dispersion Coefficient
Oxidation States3
Color
Silver
Crystal StructureSimple Hexagonal (HEX)
Lattice Constant
3.56 Å
Bulk Modulus
Electrical Resistivity
Electron Configuration[Xe] 4f12 6s2
Magnetic Ordering
Magnetic Susceptibility
PhaseSolid
Poisson Ratio
Shear Modulus
Young's Modulus
Allotropes
Alternate Names
Adiabatic Index
Appearance
Electric Conductivity
Critical Pressure
Critical Temperature
Curie Point
Electrical
Hardness
Magnetic Susceptibility
Magnetic
Neel Point
Neutron Cross Section
Neutron Mass Absorption
Gas Phase
Quantum Numbers
Refractive Index
Space Group
Speed of Sound
Superconducting Point
Thermal Expansion
Valence Electrons
Classification
CategoryLanthanides, Lanthanides
CAS Group
IUPAC Group
Glawe Number22
Mendeleev Number35
Pettifor Number23
Geochemical Classrare earth & related
Goldschmidt Classlitophile
Radioactivity
RadioactiveNo
Decay Mode
Half-Life
Lifetime
Abundance
Abundance in Earth's crust
3.5 mg/kg
Abundance in Oceans
0.00000087 mg/L
Abundance in Human Body
Abundance in Meteor
Abundance in Sun
Abundance in Universe2×10-7%

Isotopes of Erbium

Stable Isotopes
162Er 164Er 166Er 167Er 168Er 170Er
Unstable Isotopes
143Er 144Er 145Er 146Er 147Er 148Er 149Er 150Er 151Er 152Er 153Er 154Er 155Er 156Er 157Er 158Er 159Er 160Er 161Er 163Er 165Er 169Er 171Er 172Er 173Er 174Er 175Er 176Er 177Er

History

Erbium was discovered in 1843 by Swedish chemist Carl Gustaf Mosander, who detected it as an impurity in yttria. Using ammonium hydroxide he precipitated fractions of different basicity from yttria. In these fractions he found that the fraction that contained the pink color was erbium. Erbium was named after Ytterby, a town in Sweden

DiscoverersCarl Mosander
Discovery LocationSweden
Discovery Year1843
Name OriginNamed after the Swedish town, Ytterby.
Erbium is considered to be moderately toxic
The highest concentration of erbium in humans is in the bones

Uses

Erbium is used in photographic filters to absorb infrared light. Erbium oxide gives a pink color and has been used as a colorant in glasses and porcelain enamel glazes. It is also used in nuclear technology in neutron-absorbing control rods. Erbium is used in alloys especially with vanadium to decrease the hardness of metals. Erbium oxide is used in ceramics to obtain a pink glaze. Also a few uses in the nuclear industry and as an alloying agent for other exotic metals. For example, it increases the malleability of vanadium.

Sources

Found with other heavier rare earths in xenotime and euxerite.