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The Element Europium

[Click for Isotope Data]





Atomic Number: 63

Atomic Weight: 151.964

Melting Point: 1095 K (822°C or 1512°F)

Boiling Point: 1802 K (1529°C or 2784°F)

Density: 5.24 grams per cubic centimeter

Phase at Room Temperature: Solid

Element Classification: Metal

Period Number: 6    Group Number: none    Group Name: Lanthanide

What's in a name? Named after the continent of Europe.

Say what? Europium is pronounced as yoo-RO-pee-em.

History and Uses:

Europium was discovered by Eugène-Antole Demarçay, a French chemist, in 1896. Demarçay suspected that samples of a recently discovered element, samarium, were contaminated with an unknown element. He was able to produce reasonably pure europium in 1901. Today, europium is primarily obtained through an ion exchange process from monazite sand ((Ce, La, Th, Nd, Y)PO4), a material rich in rare earth elements.

Europium is the most reactive of the rare earth elements. There are no commercial applications for europium metal, although it has been used to dope some types of plastics to make lasers. Since it is a good absorber of neutrons, europium is being studied for use in nuclear reactors.

Europium oxide (Eu2O3), one of europium's compounds, is widely used as a red phosphor in television sets and as an activator for yttrium-based phosphors.

Estimated Crustal Abundance: 2.0 milligrams per kilogram

Estimated Oceanic Abundance: 1.3×10-7 milligrams per liter

Number of Stable Isotopes: 1   (View all isotope data)

Ionization Energy: 5.670 eV

Oxidation States: +3, +2

Electron Shell Configuration:


2s2   2p6

3s2   3p6   3d10

4s2   4p6   4d10   4f7

5s2   5p6