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Ytterbium (Yb)

Ytterbium is a chemical element of the periodic table with chemical symbol Yb and atomic number 70 with an atomic weight of 173.045 u and is classed as lanthanide. Ytterbium is solid at room temperature.

Ytterbium in the periodic table

Atomic number70
Color Silver
Number of protons70 p+
Number of neutrons103 n0
Number of electrons70 e-
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaYtterbium is a chemical element with symbol Yb and atomic number 70. It is the fourteenth and penultimate element in the lanthanide series, which is the basis of the relative stability of its +2 oxidation state. However, like the other lanthanides, its most common oxidation state is +3, seen in its oxide, halides and other compounds.

Physical properties

Phase at STPSolid
Density6.9 g/cm3
Atomic weight173.045 u

Thermal properties

Melting point1097 K
823.85 °C
1514.93 °F
Boiling point1469 K
1195.85 °C
2184.53 °F
Heat of vaporization128 kJ/mol

Atomic properties

Electronegativity (Pauling Scale)1.1
Electron affinity-1.93 kJ/mol
Oxidation states0, +1, +2, +3
(a basic oxide)
Ionization energies
  1. 603.4 kJ/mol
  2. 1174.8 kJ/mol
  3. 2417 kJ/mol
  4. 4203 kJ/mol

Electron configuration for ytterbium

Electron configuration
Shorthand configuration
[Xe] 4f14 6s2
Electron configuration
Full configuration
1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 4d10 4f14 5s2 5p6 6s2
Electron configuration chart
Electrons per shell2, 8, 18, 32, 8, 2
Valence electrons 2
Valency electrons 3
Bohr model
YtterbiumElectron shell for Ytterbium, created by Injosoft ABYb
Figure: Shell diagram of Ytterbium (Yb) atom.
Orbital Diagram

The history of Ytterbium

DiscoveryJean Charles Galissard de Marignac (1878)
First isolationCarl Auer von Welsbach (1906)
Discovery of ytterbium
In 1878, the Swiss chemist Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac separated from the rare earth "erbia" another independent component, which he called "ytterbia", for Ytterby, the village in Sweden near where he found the new component of erbium. He suspected that ytterbia was a compound of a new element that he called "ytterbium" (in total, four elements were named after the village, the others being yttrium, terbium, and erbium). In 1907, the new earth "lutecia" was separated from ytterbia, from which the element "lutecium" (now lutetium) was extracted by Georges Urbain, Carl Auer von Welsbach, and Charles James. After some discussion, Marignac's name "ytterbium" was retained. A relatively pure sample of the metal was not obtained until 1953. At present, ytterbium is mainly used as a dopant of stainless steel or active laser media, and less often as a gamma ray source.


List of unique identifiers for Ytterbium in various chemical registry databases
CAS Number7440-64-4
ChemSpider ID22428
EC number231-173-2
PubChem CID Number23992