Yttrium atomic number is 39. It has 50 neutrons. It has only one stable isotope yttrium-89. There are some thirty-five unstable isotopes of yttrium with different neutron numbers.
What is yttrium?
Yttrium is a chemical element that has an atomic number 39. Its standard atomic weight is 88.905 and it is represented by the symbol Y. In the periodic table, it is in group 3 and in period 4. Yttrium is a d-block element. It is a transition metal and has similar properties to lanthanides. The electronic configuration of the yttrium is 1s2, 2s2, 2p6, 3s2, 3p6, 4s2, 3d10, 4p6, 4d1, and 5s2. It has 39 electrons, 39 protons and 50 neutrons. Yttrium is solid at Standard temperature and pressure. Its melting point is 1799 K ?(1526 °C, ?2779 °F) and its boiling point is 3203 K ?(2930 °C, ?5306 °F). At room temperature, its density is 4.472 g/cm3. The first ionization energy required is 600 kJ/mol. Its oxidation states are 0,+1, +2, +3 forming weak basic oxide. The electronegativity of the Yttrium is 1.22 (Pauling scale).
It has a silver-white appearance and relatively stable in air in elemental form. When the yttrium is finely divided it becomes very unstable in the air. It can ignite in the air and can exceed temperature up to 400 °C. Yttrium has one stable isotope yttrium-89 and thirty-five radioisotopes.
Yttrium was discovered by a Finnish chemist Johan Gadolin in 1794. And it was first isolated by German chemist Friedrich Wöhler in 1838.
Yttrium is the 28th most abundant element. In Earth's crust, it could be found on average of 31 ppm. In seawater, it has a concentration of 9 ppt. It is more common than silver but it is difficult to separate from other rare earth elements. It is obtained from minerals like Xenotime, Monazite, samarskite and fergusonite. It is also found in some of the uranium ores. The global reserves are estimated in 2014 to be more than 500,000 tons. Countries which has these reserves are China, Australia, Brazil, India, and the United States. Each year few tonnes of Yttrium metal is produced.
Yttrium has a wide range of uses, the following are some of them.
Yttrium oxide is used in colour television cathode-ray tubes for red colour.
Yttrium oxide is used in the production of porous silicon nitride as a sintering additive.
It is used in high-performance spark plugs electrodes.
As a catalyst, it is used in the polymerization of Ethylene.
It is a key ingredient in the yttrium barium copper oxide superconductor.
Yttrium is used in a small amount of Lithium iron phosphate battery (LFP) cathodes.
It is used in aluminium and magnesium alloys to enhance and increase its strength.
yttrium is used in the production of synthetic garnets.
yttrium-90 a radioactive isotope is used in various cancer drugs like Yttrium Y 90 ibritumomab tiuxetan and Yttrium Y 90-DOTA-tyr3-octreotide.
It is used in camera lenses and mobile phone screens.