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About Dysprosium

Dysprosium Bohr

French chemist Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran isolated dysprosium oxide from an impure sample of holmium oxide in 1886. He had great difficulty deriving the metal itself from the oxide, and thus named the element from the Greek dysprositos, meaning “hard to get”. It is unsurprising that the metal was so hard to isolate, as significant pure quantities of many of the rare earth elements could not be obtained until ion exchange techniques were developed in the 1950s.

A number of compounds containing dysprosium emit light under defined conditions, making them useful for a number of applications. Dysprosium-doped calcium sulfate or calcium fluoride crystals luminesce when they have been exposed to radiation, and thus are used in dosimeters for measuring radiation exposure. Dysprosium iodide and bromide are used in metal-halide lamps, which produce extremely bright white light that is valued in the film industry. Additionally, dysprosium compounds can be used to produce infrared light and are often used in infrared lasers.

Dysprosium and its compounds are also valued for their magnetic properties. Easily magnetized dysprosium compounds can be used in data storage applications such as hard drives, and dysprosium is often used to substitute for some of the neodymium in neodymium-iron-boron magnets. Substituting these high-powered magnets with dysprosium increases their corrosion resistance and coercivity. Neodymium magnets are essential for electric motors, magnetic memory devices such as hard drives, and many other modern electronics. Dysprosium-containing garnets with magnetic properties are used in magnetic refrigeration devices, which can be used to reach extremely low temperatures. Finally, Terfenol-D is an alloy of terbium, iron, and dysprosium that is magnetostrictive: it contracts or expands when exposed to magnetic fields. This property allows direct conversion between electrical and mechanical power, and the alloy is used in sensors, actuators, and acoustic and ultrasonic transducers, and active noise and vibration cancelling devices.

Dysprosium is highly effective at absorbing neutrons, and is therefore used in nuclear reactor control rods. It can also be used to produce nanofibers that have high strength and are naturally corrosion resistant, and these have the potential for use as reinforcement in ceramic materials designed for high-temperature applications.

Dysprosium, like other rare earth elements, is never found in its pure form in nature. It can be obtained only from rare earth containing minerals such as xenotime, monazite, and bastnasite, or from ion-adsorption clays.

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Dysprosium is most commonly used in neodymium-iron-boron high strength permanent magnets. While it has one of the highest magnetic moments of any of the rare earths (10.6µB), this has not resulted in an ability to perform on its own as a practical alternative to neodymium compositions. It is however now an essential additive in NdFeB production. Dysprosium is also used in special ceramic compositions based on BaTiO formulations. Recent research has examined the use of dysprosium in dysprosium-iron-garnet (DyIG) and silicon implanted with dysprosium and holmium to form donor centers. Dysprosium is added to various advanced optical formulations due to the fact that it emits in the 470-500 and 570-600 nm wavelengths. High Purity (99.995%) Dysprosium (Dy) Sputtering Target Dysprosium metal is used in rare earth magnet alloys and magnesium alloys.High Purity (99.999%) Dysprosium Oxide (Dy2O3) Powder Due to dysprosium's high susceptibility to magnetization, it is also used in a variety of data storage applications, such as in compact discs. Dysprosium is available as metal and compounds with purities from 99% to 99.999% (ACS grade to ultra-high purity). Elemental or metallic forms include pellets, rod, wire and granules for evaporation source material purposes. Dysprosium oxide is available in powder and dense pellet form for such uses as optical coating and thin film applications. Oxides tend to be insoluble. Dysprosium fluorides is another insoluble form for uses in which oxygen is undesirable such as metallurgy, chemical and physical vapor deposition and in some optical coatings. Dysprosium is also available in soluble forms including chlorides, nitrates and acetates. These compounds can be manufactured as solutions at specified stoichiometries.

Dysprosium Properties

Dysprosium Element SymbolDysprosium is a Block F, Group 3, Period 6 element. Dysprosium Bohr ModelThe number of electrons in each of dysprosium's shells is 2, 8, 18, 28, 8, 2 and its electron configuration is [Xe] 4f10 6s2. The dysprosium atom has an atomic radius of 178 pm and its Van der Waals radius is 229 pm. In its Elemental Dysprosium Pictureelemental form, CAS 7429-91-6, dysprosium has a silvery-white appearance. Dysprosium is found in various minerals including bastnäsite, blomstrandine, euxenite, fergusonite, gadolinite, monazite, polycrase and xenotime. It is not found in nature as a free element. Monazite sand is the primary commercial source of dysprosium. Dysprosium was first discovered by Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran in 1886. The element name originates from the Greek word 'dysprositos' meaning hard to get at.

Symbol: Dy
Atomic Number: 66
Atomic Weight: 162.5
Element Category: Lanthanide
Group, Period, Block: n/a, 6, f
Color: silvery-white
Other Names: Disprosio
Melting Point: 1412 °C, 2573.6 °F, 1685.15 K
Boiling Point: 2567 °C, 4652.6 °F, 2840.15 K
Density: 8.550 g/cm3
Liquid Density @ Melting Point: 8.37 g·cm3
Density @ 20°C: 8.536 g/cm3
Density of Solid: 8551 kg·m3
Specific Heat: 0.0414 Cal/g/K @ 25°C
Superconductivity Temperature: N/A
Triple Point: N/A
Critical Point: N/A
Heat of Fusion (kJ·mol-1): 17.2
Heat of Vaporization (kJ·mol-1): 293
Heat of Atomization (kJ·mol-1): 293.05
Thermal Conductivity: 0.107 W/cm/K @ 298.2 K
Thermal Expansion: (r.t.) (?, poly) 9.9 µm/(m·K)
Electrical Resistivity: 57.0 µΩ-cm @ 25°C
Tensile Strength: N/A
Molar Heat Capacity: 27.7 J·mol-1·K-1
Young's Modulus: (? form) 61.4 GPa
Shear Modulus: (? form) 24.7 GPa
Bulk Modulus: (? form) 40.5 GPa
Poisson Ratio: (? form) 0.247
Mohs Hardness: N/A
Vickers Hardness: 540 MPa
Brinell Hardness: 500 MPa
Speed of Sound: (20 °C) 2710 m·s-1
Pauling Electronegativity: 1.22
Sanderson Electronegativity: N/A
Allred Rochow Electronegativity: 1.1
Mulliken-Jaffe Electronegativity: N/A
Allen Electronegativity: N/A
Pauling Electropositivity: 2.78
Reflectivity (%): N/A
Refractive Index: N/A
Electrons: 66
Protons: 66
Neutrons: 96
Electron Configuration: [Xe] 4f10 6s2
Atomic Radius: 178 pm
Atomic Radius,
non-bonded (Å):
Covalent Radius: 192±7 pm
Covalent Radius (Å): 1.8
Van der Waals Radius: 229 pm
Oxidation States: 3, 2, 1 (weakly basic oxide)
Phase: Solid
Crystal Structure: hexagonal close-packed
Magnetic Ordering: paramagnetic
Electron Affinity (kJ·mol-1) Unknown
1st Ionization Energy: 573.02 kJ·mol-1
2nd Ionization Energy: 1125.99 kJ·mol-1
3rd Ionization Energy: 2199.88 kJ·mol-1
CAS Number: 7429-91-6
EC Number: 231-073-9
MDL Number: MFCD00010982
Beilstein Number: N/A
SMILES Identifier: [Dy]
InChI Identifier: InChI=1S/Dy
PubChem CID: 23912
ChemSpider ID: 22355
Earth - Total: 364 ppb
Mercury - Total: 280 ppb
Venus - Total: 382 ppb
Earth - Seawater (Oceans), ppb by weight: 0.00091
Earth - Seawater (Oceans), ppb by atoms: 0.000035
Earth -  Crust (Crustal Rocks), ppb by weight: 6200
Earth -  Crust (Crustal Rocks), ppb by atoms: 790
Sun - Total, ppb by weight: 2
Sun - Total, ppb by atoms: 0.01
Stream, ppb by weight: 0.05
Stream, ppb by atoms: 0.0003
Meterorite (Carbonaceous), ppb by weight: 280
Meterorite (Carbonaceous), ppb by atoms: 30
Typical Human Body, ppb by weight: N/A
Typical Human Body, ppb by atom: N/A
Universe, ppb by weight: 2
Universe, ppb by atom: 0.02
Discovered By: Lecoq de Boisbaudran
Discovery Date: 1886
First Isolation: N/A

Health, Safety & Transportation Information for Dysprosium

Dysprosium is moderately toxic. Safety data for Dysprosium and its compounds can vary widely depending on the form. For potential hazard information, toxicity, and road, sea and air transportation limitations, such as DOT Hazard Class, DOT Number, EU Number, NFPA Health rating and RTECS Class, please see the specific material or compound referenced in the Products tab. The below information applies to elemental (metallic) Dysprosium.

Safety Data
Material Safety Data Sheet MSDS
Signal Word Warning
Hazard Statements H228
Hazard Codes F
Risk Codes 11
Safety Precautions 22-24/25
RTECS Number N/A
Transport Information N/A
WGK Germany 3
Globally Harmonized System of
Classification and Labelling (GHS)

Dysprosium Isotopes

Naturally occurring dysprosium (Dy) has 7 stable isotopes: 156Dy, 158Dy, 160Dy, 161Dy, 162Dy, 163Dy and 164Dy

Nuclide Isotopic Mass Half-Life Mode of Decay Nuclear Spin Magnetic Moment Binding Energy (MeV) Natural Abundance
(% by atom)
138Dy 137.96249(64)# 200# ms Unknown 0+ N/A 1078.07 -
139Dy 138.95954(54)# 600(200) ms Unknown 7/2+# N/A 1095.47 -
140Dy 139.95401(54)# 700# ms β+ to 140Tb 0+ N/A 1103.54 -
141Dy 140.95135(32)# 0.9(2) s β+ to 141Tb (9/2-) N/A 1111.62 -
142Dy 141.94637(39)# 2.3(3) s β+ to 142Tb 0+ N/A 1129.02 -
143Dy 142.94383(21)# 5.6(10) s β+ to 143Tb (1/2+) N/A 1137.1 -
144Dy 143.93925(3) 9.1(4) s β+ to 144Tb 0+ N/A 1154.49 -
145Dy 144.93743(5) 9.5(10) s β+ to 145Tb (1/2+) N/A 1162.57 -
146Dy 145.932845(29) 33.2(7) s β+ to 146Tb 0+ N/A 1170.65 -
147Dy 146.931092(21) 40(10) s β+ to 147Tb; β+ + p to 146Tb 1/2+ N/A 1178.73 -
148Dy 147.927150(11) 3.3(2) min β+ to 148Tb 0+ N/A 1196.12 -
149Dy 148.927305(9) 4.20(14) min β+ to 149Tb 7/2(-) N/A 1204.2 -
150Dy 149.925585(5) 7.17(5) min β+ to 150Tb; α to 146Gd 0+ N/A 1212.28 -
151Dy 150.926185(4) 17.9(3) min β+ to 151Tb; α to 147Gd 7/2(-) N/A 1220.36 -
152Dy 151.924718(6) 2.38(2) h EC to 152Tb; α to 148Gd 0+ N/A 1228.44 -
153Dy 152.925765(5) 6.4(1) h EC to 153Tb; α to 149Gd 7/2(-) -0.78 1236.52 -
154Dy 153.924424(8) 3.0(15)E+6 y α to 150Gd 0+ N/A 1244.6 -
155Dy 154.925754(13) 9.9(2) h EC to 155Tb 3/2- -0.385 1252.67 -
156Dy 155.924283(7) Observationally Stable - 0+ N/A 1260.75 0.06
157Dy 156.925466(7) 8.14(4) h EC to 157Tb 3/2- -0.301 1268.83 -
158Dy 157.924409(4) Observationally Stable - 0+ N/A 1276.91 0.1
159Dy 158.9257392(29) 144.4(2) d EC to 159Tb 3/2- -0.354 1284.99 -
160Dy 159.9251975(27) Observationally Stable - 0+ N/A 1293.07 2.34
161Dy 160.9269334(27) Observationally Stable - 5/2+ -0.4806 1301.15 18.91
162Dy 161.9267984(27) Observationally Stable - 0+ N/A 1309.22 25.51
163Dy 162.9287312(27) STABLE - 5/2- 0.6726 1317.3 24.9
164Dy 163.9291748(27) STABLE - 0+ N/A 1325.38 28.18
165Dy 164.9317033(27) 2.334(1) h β- to 165Ho 7/2+ -0.52 1324.14 -
166Dy 165.9328067(28) 81.6(1) h β- to 166Ho 0+ N/A 1332.22 -
167Dy 166.93566(6) 6.20(8) min β- to 167Ho (1/2-) N/A 1340.3 -
168Dy 167.93713(15) 8.7(3) min β- to 168Ho 0+ N/A 1348.38 -
169Dy 168.94031(32) 39(8) s β- to 169Ho (5/2-) N/A 1347.14 -
170Dy 169.94239(21)# 30# s β- to 170Ho 0+ N/A 1355.22 -
171Dy 170.94620(32)# 6# s β- to 171Ho 7/2-# N/A 1363.3 -
172Dy 171.94876(43)# 3# s β- to 172Ho 0+ N/A 1371.38 -
173Dy 172.95300(54)# 2# s β- to 173Ho 9/2+# N/A 1370.14 -
Dysprosium Elemental Symbol

Recent Research & Development for Dysprosium

  • Magnetic memory in an isotopically enriched and magnetically isolated mononuclear dysprosium complex. Pointillart F, Bernot K, Golhen S, Le Guennic B, Guizouarn T, Ouahab L, Cador O. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2015 Jan 26
  • Dual responsive dysprosium-doped hydroxyapatite particles and toxicity reduction after functionalization with folic and glucuronic acids. Sánchez Lafarga AK, Pacheco Moisés FP, Gurinov A, Ortiz GG, Carbajal Arízaga GG. Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl. 2015 Mar
  • Direct measurement of dysprosium(III)···dysprosium(III) interactions in a single-molecule magnet. Moreno Pineda E, Chilton NF, Marx R, Dörfel M, Sells DO, Neugebauer P, Jiang SD, Collison D, van Slageren J, McInnes EJ, Winpenny RE. Nat Commun. 2014 Oct 13
  • Extension of the energy range of the experimental activation cross-sections data of longer-lived products of proton induced nuclear reactions on dysprosium up to 65MeV. Tárkányi F, Ditrói F, Takács S, Hermanne A, Ignatyuk AV. Appl Radiat Isot. 2015 Apr
  • Dysprosium, holmium and erbium ions doped indium oxide nanotubes as photoanodes for dye sensitized solar cells and improved device performance. Miao C, Chen C, Dai Q, Xu L, Song H. J Colloid Interface Sci. 2015 Feb 15
  • Cerium: An Unlikely Replacement of Dysprosium in High Performance Nd-Fe-B Permanent Magnets. Pathak AK, Khan M, Gschneidner KA Jr, McCallum RW, Zhou L, Sun K, Dennis KW, Zhou C, Pinkerton FE, Kramer MJ, Pecharsky VK. Adv Mater. 2015 Mar 13.
  • Dysprosium sorption by polymeric composite bead: Robust parametric optimization using Taguchi method. Yadav KK, Dasgupta K, Singh DK, Varshney L, Singh H. J Chromatogr A. 2015 Mar 6
  • [Dy(acac)3(dppn)]·C2H5OH: construction of a single-ion magnet based on the square-antiprism dysprosium(III) ion. Chen GJ, Zhou Y, Jin GX, Dong YB. Dalton Trans. 2014 Nov 28
  • Mononuclear and tetranuclear compounds of yttrium and dysprosium ligated by a salicylic schiff-base derivative: synthesis, photoluminescence, and magnetism. Yadav M, Mereacre V, Lebedkin S, Kappes MM, Powell AK, Roesky PW. Inorg Chem. 2015 Feb 2
  • pH-controlled polymorphism in a layered dysprosium phosphonate and its impact on the magnetization relaxation. Zeng D, Ren M, Bao SS, Feng JS, Li L, Zheng LM. Chem Commun (Camb). 2015 Jan 29
  • Lanthanide hydroxide ribbons assembled in a 2D network: slow relaxation of the magnetization in the dysprosium(iii) complex. Ma X, Xu N, Gao C, Li L, Wang B, Shi W, Cheng P. Dalton Trans. 2015 Mar 10
  • Peripheral Substitution: An Easy Way to Tuning the Magnetic Behavior of Tetrakis(phthalocyaninato) Dysprosium(III) SMMs. Shang H, Zeng S, Wang H, Dou J, Jiang J. Sci Rep. 2015 Mar 6
  • Dysprosium-doped cadmium oxide as a gateway material for mid-infrared plasmonics. Sachet E, Shelton CT, Harris JS, Gaddy BE, Irving DL, Curtarolo S, Donovan BF, Hopkins PE, Sharma PA, Sharma AL, Ihlefeld J, Franzen S, Maria JP. Nat Mater. 2015 Feb 16.
  • Six-coordinate lanthanide complexes: slow relaxation of magnetization in the dysprosium(III) complex. Na B, Zhang XJ, Shi W, Zhang YQ, Wang BW, Gao C, Gao S, Cheng P. Chemistry. 2014 Nov 24
  • Peptoid-ligated pentadecanuclear yttrium and dysprosium hydroxy clusters. Thielemann DT, Wagner AT, Lan Y, Oña-Burgos P, Fernández I, Rösch ES, Kölmel DK, Powell AK, Bräse S, Roesky PW. Chemistry. 2015 Feb 9
  • A new fungal isolate, Penidiella sp. T9, accumulates the rare earth element dysprosium. Horiike T, Yamashita M. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2015 Feb 20.
  • An Expanded Family of Dysprosium-Scandium Mixed-Metal Nitride Clusterfullerenes: The Role of Lanthanide Metal on the Carbon Cage Size Distribution. Wei T, Liu F, Wang S, Zhu X, Popov AA, Yang S. Chemistry. 2015 Feb 25.
  • Influence of the coordination environment on slow magnetic relaxation and photoluminescence behavior in two mononuclear dysprosium(iii) based single molecule magnets. Mondal AK, Goswami S, Konar S. Dalton Trans. 2015 Mar 3
  • Field-induced multiple relaxation mechanism of Co(III)2Dy(III) compound with the dysprosium ion in a low-symmetrical environment. Xue S, Ungur L, Guo YN, Tang J, Chibotaru LF. Inorg Chem. 2014 Dec 1
  • Employment of triketones to construct a dysprosium(iii) single-molecule magnet. Wang C, Lin SY, Wu J, Yuan SW, Tang J. Dalton Trans. 2015 Feb 24