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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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Summary. 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):
2.31
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
InChI Key: KBQHZAAAGSGFKK-UHFFFAOYSA-N
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)
Flame-Flammables

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

  • Brian J. Jaques, Daniel D. Osterberg, Gordon A. Alanko, Sumit Tamrakar, Cole R. Smith, Michael F. Hurley, Darryl P. Butt, In situ characterization of the nitridation of dysprosium during mechanochemical processing, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, Volume 619, 15 January 2015
  • Z. Khadraoui, C. Bouzidi, K. Horchani-Naifer, M. Ferid, Crystal structure, energy band and optical properties of dysprosium monophosphate DyPO4, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, Volume 617, 25 December 2014
  • Wen-Tong Chen, Qiu-Yan Luo, Ya-Ping Xu, Yan-Kang Dai, Shan-Lin Huang, Pei-Yu Guo, Hydrothermal synthesis, crystal structure and properties of a thermally stable dysprosium porphyrin with a three-dimensional porous open framework, Inorganic Chemistry Communications, Volume 49, November 2014
  • Yan Sui, Xiao-Niu Fang, Rong-Hua Hu, Jia Li, Dong-Sheng Liu, A new type of multifunctional single ionic dysprosium complex based on chiral salen-type Schiff base ligand, Inorganica Chimica Acta, Volume 423, Part A, 1 November 2014
  • Yingjie Zhang, Mohan Bhadbhade, Nicholas Scales, Inna Karatchevtseva, Jason R. Price, Kim Lu, Gregory R. Lumpkin, Dysprosium complexes with mono-/di-carboxylate ligands—From simple dimers to 2D and 3D frameworks, Journal of Solid State Chemistry, Volume 219, November 2014
  • B. Mamatha, P. Sarah, Effect of dysprosium substitution on electrical properties of SrBi4Ti4O15, Materials Chemistry and Physics, Volume 147, Issue 3, 15 October 2014
  • Wei-Lu Xiong, Qing-Yan Liu, Cai-Ming Liu, Yu-Ling Wang, Slow magnetization relaxation in a one-dimensional dysprosium-carboxylate compound based on the linear Dy4 units synthesized ionothermally from a deep-eutectic solvent, Inorganic Chemistry Communications, Volume 48, October 2014
  • Gordon A. Alanko, Daniel D. Osterberg, Brian J. Jaques, Michael F. Hurley, Darryl P. Butt, Kinetics of the Nitridation of Dysprosium During Mechanochemical Processing, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, Available online 20 September 2014
  • Yan Wang, Bin Cui, Lulu Zhang, Zhenyu Hu, Yaoyu Wang, Phase composition, microstructure, and dielectric properties of dysprosium-doped Ba(Zr0.1Ti0.9)O3-based Y5V ceramics with high permittivity, Ceramics International, Volume 40, Issue 8, Part A, September 2014
  • Shuang-Yan Lin, Jinkui Tang, Versatile tetranuclear dysprosium single-molecule magnets, Polyhedron, Available online 12 June 2014