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Dysprosium is a naturally occurring rare earth element whose abundance is, on the average, 4.5 ppm of the earth's crust. It occurs in gadolinite, xenotime, samarskite and other rare earth mineral. Discovered in 1886, the silver-gray, soft metal that can be worked by conventional methods. Dysprosium is used a neutron-absorbing foil to detect radioactive reactions and for neutron absorbing rods in nuclear reactors. Dysprosium oxide, or dysprosia, is used as an activator for the yellow component of the phosphors used in black and white television picture tubes.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Dy; dysprosium oxide; dysprosia


  • Sensitive to air and moisture.
  • Contact may cause irritation.
  • Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Composition Dy (atomic no. 66)
CAS 7429-91-6
Melting Point 1412 C
Molecular Weight atomic wt= 162.50
Boiling Point 2567 C

Resources and Citations

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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