Erbium Element in Periodic Table | Atomic Number Atomic Mass
Erbium is a chemical element with atomic number 68 and it is denoted by the symbol Er. It is included in the lanthanide series of periodic table. Similar to its other neighbouring elements in the same period, it a silvery white metal and malleable. It is preceded by Holmium and succeeded by thulium in the lanthanide series. It melts at 1529 °C and its boiling point is 2868°C.
Unlike other rare-earth metals it does not get oxidized when exposed to air quickly. However, Er when heated in air gets oxidized into erbium oxide Er2O3. The element exhibits distinct sharp spectral lines in visible light, ultra violet and near infrared light. Er salts are pink in colour. Er shows similar properties of its congeners when it is made to react with hot water by forming erbium hydroxide with the release of hydrogen gas. But it reacts very slowly with cold water and takes longer time for forming its hydroxide.
Erbium reacts with all halogens to form respective trihalides. While erbium fluoride is pink in colour, the remaining erbium halides erbium chloride, erbium bromide and erbium iodide are violet. In dilute sulphuric acid, erbium positive ions Er+3 and sulphate ions SO4-2 get dissociated in the solution and its hydration complex ions [Er (OH2)9]+3 are formed.
Er has six naturally occurring stable isotopes with mass numbers 162,164,166, 167, 168 and 170 out of which 166Er is considered as the most abundant isotope. In addition to the naturally occurring isotopes, twenty nine artificial isotopes have been synthesized of which 169Er is found to be more stable than others.
Uses Of Erbium Element:
Since Er isotopes are good neutron absorbers, they are used in nuclear reactors for controlling nuclear mechanism. Er oxide, called erbia, is used in imparting pink colour to pottery and glass utensils. Broadband signals are amplified by erbium-induced fiber optic cables. When vanadium is alloyed with erbium, the hardness of the new metal is lowered and its workability is improved.
Erbium Element Information:
Discovered by: Carl Gustaf Mosander
Atomic number: 68
Relative atomic mass: 167.259
Electron configuration: [Xe] 4f12 6s2
Other elements in the same block:
Cerium, Praseodymium, Neodymium, Promethium, Samarium, Europium, Gadolinium, Terbium, Dysprosium, Holmium, Thulium, Ytterbium, Lutetium, Thorium, Protactinium, Uranium, Neptunium, Plutonium, Americium, Curium, Berkelium, Californium, Einsteinium, Fermium, Mendelevium, Nobelium and Lawrencium are the elements in the same block.
Period: period 6
Other elements in the same period:
Caesium, Barium, Lanthanum, Cerium, Praseodymium, Neodymium, Promethium, Samarium, Europium, Gadolinium, Terbium, Dysprosium, Holmium, Thulium, Ytterbium, Lutetium, Hafnium, Tantalum, Tungsten, Rhenium, Osmium, Iridium, Platinum, Gold, Mercury, Thallium, Lead, Bismuth, Polonium, Astatine and Radon
Other elements in the same group:
Other elements in the same orbital:
Key isotopes: 166Er
Melting point: 1529°C, 2784°F, 1802 K
Boiling point: 2868°C, 5194°F, 3141 K
Element category: lanthanide
Density (g cm−3): 9.07
CAS number: 7440-52-0
Color: silvery white
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