The Element Yttrium
Atomic Number: 39
Atomic Weight: 88.90584
Melting Point: 1795 K (1522°C or 2772°F)
Boiling Point: 3618 K (3345°C or 6053°F)
Density: 4.47 grams per cubic centimeter
Phase at Room Temperature: Solid
Element Classification: Metal
Period Number: 5
Group Number: 3
Group Name: none
What's in a name? Named for the village of Ytterby, Sweden.
Say what? Yttrium is pronounced as IT-ree-em.
History and Uses:
Yttrium was discovered by Johan Gadolin, a Finnish chemist, while analyzing the composition of the mineral gadolinite ((Ce, La, Nd, Y)2FeBe2Si2O10) in 1789. Gadolinite, which was named for Johan Gadolin, was discovered several years earlier in a quarry near the town of Ytterby, Sweden. Today, yttrium is primarily obtained through an ion exchange process from monazite sand ((Ce, La, Th, Nd, Y)PO4), a material rich in rare earth elements.
Although metallic yttrium is not widely used, several of its compounds are. Yttrium oxide (Y2O3) and yttrium orthovanadate (YVO4) are both combined with europium to produce the red phosphor used in color televisions. Garnets made from yttrium and iron (Y3Fe5O12) are used as microwave filters in microwave communications equipment. Garnets made from yttrium and aluminum (Y3Al5O12) are used in jewelry as simulated diamond.
Estimated Crustal Abundance: 3.3×101 milligrams per kilogram
Estimated Oceanic Abundance: 1.3×10-5 milligrams per liter
Number of Stable Isotopes: 1 (View all isotope data)
Ionization Energy: 6.217 eV
Oxidation States: +3
3s2 3p6 3d10
4s2 4p6 4d1
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For questions about this page, please contact Steve Gagnon.