The Element Europium
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
3s2 3p6 3d10
4s2 4p6 4d10 4f7
Citation and linking information
For questions about this page, please contact Steve Gagnon.