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A rare earth metal of the yttrium group that occurs in the minerals gadolinite, euxenite, xenotime, and monazite. It is a silvery, ductile metal that exists in an alpha crystalline form at normal temperatures and a beta crystalline form and high temperatures (over 798 C). Metallic ytterbium is used in lasers, portable x-ray sources and phosphors that convert infrared radiation to visible light. Ytterbium oxide is used in special alloys, dielectric ceramics, and in special glasses.

Synonyms and Related Terms


Other Properties

Soluble in dilute acids and liquid ammonia. Reacts slowly with water.

Composition Yb (atomic no. 70)
CAS 7440-64-4
Melting Point 819
Density 6.997
Molecular Weight atomic wt =173.04
Boiling Point 1196

Hazards and Safety

Sensitive to moisture and air. Contact may cause irritation. Powder is flammable.

Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 177