Rare, metallic element discovered in 1794 by Finnish chemist Johann Gadolin and named for the town of Ytterby, Sweden. Yttrium is found in minerals such as gadolinite, yttrialite, xenotime, and fergusonite. It is a silver-gray metal composed of hexagonal close-packed crystals that darken when exposed to light. Metallic yttrium is used in nuclear technology and as a coating on high-temperature alloys. Yttrium oxide is used as a chromatically true red phosphor in color television tubes. Yttrium salts are used in high-purity semiconductors and to produce permanent magnets. Synthetic yttrium iron garnets (YIG) and yttrium aluminum garnets (YAG) are used as microwave bandpass filters in communication networks. Single-crystal YAGs are also used in lasers and for making artificial diamonds.
Synonyms and Related Terms
Y; ittrio (It.); Itrio (Port.); ytrio (Esp.); yttrium iron garnet (YIG); yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG);
Soluble in dilute acids and potassium hydroxide solution. Decomposes in water.
|Composition||Y (atomic no. 39)|
|Molecular Weight||atomic wt =88.90585|
Hazards and Safety
Sensitive to light, air, and moisture. Contact may cause irritation. Powder is flammable.
Fisher Scientific: MSDS
Web Elements: Website
Sources Checked for Data in Record
- G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 178
- Website address 1 Comment: Web Elements at http://www.webelements.com/webelements/elements/text/Y/hist.html
- Chemical & Engineering News, American Chemical Society, Washington DC, 81 (36) , Sept. 8, 2003 Comment: Pual. C. W. Chu, page 102