The Element Holmium
Atomic Number: 67
Atomic Weight: 164.93033
Melting Point: 1747 K (1474°C or 2685°F)
Boiling Point: 2973 K (2700°C or 4892°F)
Density: 8.80 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? From the Latin word for the city of Stockholm, Holmia.
Say what? Holmium is pronounced as HOHL-mee-em.
History and Uses:
Holmium was discovered by Per Theodor Cleve, a Swedish chemist, in 1879. Cleve used the same method Carl Gustaf Mosander used to discover lanthanum, erbium and terbium, he looked for impurities in the oxides of other rare earth elements. He started with erbia, the oxide of erbium (Er2O3), and removed all of the known contaminants. After further processing, he obtained two new materials, one brown and the other green. Cleve named the brown material holmia and the green material thulia. Holmia is the oxide of the element holmium and thulia is the oxide of the element thulium. Holmium's absorption spectrum was observed earlier that year by J. L. Soret and M. Delafontaine, Swiss chemists. Today, holmium is primarily obtained through an ion exchange process from monazite sand ((Ce, La, Th, Nd, Y)PO4), a material rich in rare earth elements that can contain as much as 0.05% holmium.
Holmium has no commercial applications, although it has unusual magnetic properties that could be exploited in the future.
Holmium forms no commercially important compounds. Some of holmium's compounds include: holmium oxide (Ho2O3), holmium fluoride (HoF3) and holmium iodide (HoI3).
Estimated Crustal Abundance: 1.3 milligrams per kilogram
Estimated Oceanic Abundance: 2.2×10-7 milligrams per liter
Number of Stable Isotopes: 1 (View all isotope data)
Ionization Energy: 6.022 eV
Oxidation States: +3
3s2 3p6 3d10
4s2 4p6 4d10 4f11