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About Scandium

Scandium Bohr

On Dmitri Mendeleev’s 1869 periodic table, element 21 appeared as “ekaboron”. No such element had yet been discovered, but Mendeleev’s predictions regarding its existence and properties were largely confirmed ten years later when Lars Fredrik Nilson detected it in the minerals euxenite and gadolinite, and named it scandium after his native Scandinavia. Nilson was able to prepare high purity scandium oxide, but pure scandium metal was not produced in significant quantities until 1960. The relatively short history of scandium production has limited its uses in industry, which in turn has kept production relatively low and prices relatively high. In absolute terms, however, scandium is not rare, and therefore increasing recognition of scandium’s benefits may eventually lead to expanded demand and production.

Scandium is often used in small quantities to stabilize or impart useful properties to a host material, a practice known as doping. Most commonly, it is found in scandium-aluminum alloys, which are prized for their combination of lightness and strength, but are used less frequently than comparable less-expensive titanium-aluminum alloys. These alloys are used for some aircraft components and in sports equipment such as baseball bats, bicycle frames, and lacrosse sticks. Garnets containing scandium are used as gain media in lasers, including those used in dental surgery, and scandium-stabilized zirconia has been recognized as a high-efficiency electrolyte in solid oxide fuel cells. Finally, scandium oxide is used in metal-halide lamps that are used to produce high-intensity white light that resembles sunlight.

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High Purity (99.999%) Scandium Oxide (Sc2O3)Powder Scandium is a metal that has many of the characteristics of the rare earth elements, particularly yttrium. It is a light material with a higher melting point than aluminum, giving it uses in aerospace and other manufacturing, such as racing bicycles, baseball bats, and golf clubs. Doping zirconium oxide with scandium oxide produces a low temperature electrolyte for solid oxide fuel cells. High Purity (99.999%) Scandium (Sc) Sputtering TargetScandium 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. Scandium nanoparticles and nanopowders provide ultra-high surface area. Oxides are available in powder and dense pellet form for such uses as optical coating and thin film applications. Oxides tend to be insoluble. Fluorides are another insoluble form for uses in which oxygen is undesirable such as metallurgy, chemical and physical vapor deposition and in some optical coatings. Scandium is also available in soluble forms including chlorides, nitrates and acetates. These compounds can be manufactured as solutions at specified stoichiometries.

Scandium Properties

Scandium(Sc) and molecular weight, atomic number and elemental symbolScandium is a Block D, Group 3, Period 4 element. The number of electrons in each of Scandium's shells is 2, 8, 9, 2 and its electronic configuration is [Ar] 3d1 4s2. Scandium Bohr Model The scandium atom has a radius of and its Van der Waals radius is In its elemental form, CAS 7440-20-2, scandium has a silvery-white appearance. Scandium is found in concentrated amounts in the minerals euxenite, gadolinite and thortveitite; however, due to the difficulties in the preparation of metallic scandium, global trade of the pure metal is very limited. High Purity (99.999%) Scandium (Sc) MetalScandium was first discovered by Lars Nilson in 1879. The origin of the name scandium comes from the Latin word 'scandia' meaning Scandinavia. Scandium information, including technical data, safety data, high purity properties, research, applications and other useful facts are discussed below. Scientific facts such as the atomic structure, ionization energy, abundance on earth, conductivity and thermal properties are also included.

Symbol: Sc
Atomic Number: 21
Atomic Weight: 44.95591
Element Category: transition metal
Group, Period, Block: 3, 4, d
Color: silvery white
Other Names: Skandium, Skandij, Scandio
Melting Point: 1541 °C, 2806 °F, 1814 K
Boiling Point: 2836 °C, 5136 °F, 3109 K
Density: 2.985 g·cm3
Liquid Density @ Melting Point: 2.80 g·cm3
Density @ 20°C: 3.0 g/cm3
Density of Solid: 2985 kg·m3
Specific Heat: 0.556 @20°C J/g mol
Superconductivity Temperature: 0.05 [or -273.1 °C (-459.6 °F)] (under pressure) K
Triple Point: N/A
Critical Point: N/A
Heat of Fusion (kJ·mol-1): 15.9
Heat of Vaporization (kJ·mol-1): 376.1
Heat of Atomization (kJ·mol-1): 376.02
Thermal Conductivity: 15.8 W·m-1·K-1
Thermal Expansion: r.t.) (?, poly) 10.2 µm/(m·K)
Electrical Resistivity: (r.t. (?, poly) calc. 562 nΩ·m
Tensile Strength: N/A
Molar Heat Capacity: 25.52 J·mol-1·K-1
Young's Modulus: 74.4 GPa
Shear Modulus: 29.1 GPa
Bulk Modulus: 56.6 GPa
Poisson Ratio: 0.279
Mohs Hardness: N/A
Vickers Hardness: N/A
Brinell Hardness: 750 MPa
Speed of Sound: N/A
Pauling Electronegativity: 1.36
Sanderson Electronegativity: 1.02
Allred Rochow Electronegativity: 1.2
Mulliken-Jaffe Electronegativity: N/A
Allen Electronegativity: N/A
Pauling Electropositivity: 2.64
Reflectivity (%): N/A
Refractive Index: N/A
Electrons: 21
Protons: 21
Neutrons: 24
Electron Configuration: [Ar] 3d1 4s2
Atomic Radius: 162 pm
Atomic Radius,
non-bonded (Å):
Covalent Radius: 170±7 pm
Covalent Radius (Å): 1.59
Van der Waals Radius: 211 pm
Oxidation States: 3, 2, 1 (amphoteric oxide)
Phase: Solid
Crystal Structure: hexagonal close-packed
Magnetic Ordering: paramagnetic
Electron Affinity (kJ·mol-1) 18.133
1st Ionization Energy: 633.09 kJ·mol-1
2nd Ionization Energy: 1234.99 kJ·mol-1
3rd Ionization Energy: 2388.67 kJ·mol-1
CAS Number: 7440-20-2
EC Number: 231-129-2
MDL Number: MFCD00016323
Beilstein Number: N/A
SMILES Identifier: [Sc]
InChI Identifier: InChI=1S/Sc
PubChem CID: 23952
ChemSpider ID: 22392
Earth - Total: 2.62 ppm
Mercury - Total: 2.01 ppm
Venus - Total: 2.74 ppm 
Earth - Seawater (Oceans), ppb by weight: 0.0015
Earth - Seawater (Oceans), ppb by atoms: 0.00021
Earth -  Crust (Crustal Rocks), ppb by weight: 26000
Earth -  Crust (Crustal Rocks), ppb by atoms: 12000
Sun - Total, ppb by weight: 40
Sun - Total, ppb by atoms: 1
Stream, ppb by weight: 0.004
Stream, ppb by atoms: 0.00009
Meterorite (Carbonaceous), ppb by weight: 6500
Meterorite (Carbonaceous), ppb by atoms: 2900
Typical Human Body, ppb by weight: N/A
Typical Human Body, ppb by atom: N/A
Universe, ppb by weight: 30
Universe, ppb by atom: 1
Discovered By: Lars Fredrik Nilson
Discovery Date: 1879
First Isolation: Lars Fredrik Nilson (1879)

Health, Safety & Transportation Information for Scandium

Scandium is mildly toxic in its elemental form. Safety data for Scandium 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) Scandium.

Safety Data
Material Safety Data Sheet MSDS
Signal Word Danger
Hazard Statements H228
Hazard Codes F
Risk Codes 11
Safety Precautions 16-43
RTECS Number N/A
Transport Information UN 3089 4.1/PG 2
WGK Germany 3
Globally Harmonized System of
Classification and Labelling (GHS)

Scandium Isotopes

Scandium has one stable isotope: 45Sc.

Nuclide Isotopic Mass Half-Life Mode of Decay Nuclear Spin Magnetic Moment Binding Energy (MeV) Natural Abundance
(% by atom)
36Sc 36.01492(54)# N/A p to 35Ca N/A N/A 254.23 -
37Sc 37.00305(32)# N/A p to 36Ca 7/2-# N/A 272.55 -
38Sc 37.99470(32)# <300 ns p to 37Ca (2-)# N/A 289.02 -
39Sc 38.984790(26) <300 ns p to 38Ca (7/2-)# N/A 306.41 -
40Sc 39.977967(3) 182.3(7) ms ß+ to 40Ca; ß+ + p to 39K; ß+ + a to 36Ar 4- N/A 321.01 -
41Sc 40.96925113(24) 596.3(17) ms ß+ to 41Ca 7/2- N/A 336.54 -
42Sc 41.96551643(29) 681.3(7) ms ß+ to 42Ca 0+ N/A 348.35 -
43Sc 42.9611507(20) 3.891(12) h EC to 43Ca 7/2- 4.62 360.15 -
44Sc 43.9594028(19) 3.97(4) h EC to 44Ca 2+ 2.56 370.1 -
45Sc 44.9559119(9) STABLE - 7/2- 4.756483 381.9 100
46Sc 45.9551719(9) 83.79(4) d ß- to 46Ti 4+ 3.03 389.98 -
47Sc 46.9524075(22) 3.3492(6) d ß- to 47Ti 7/2- 5.34 400.85 -
48Sc 47.952231(6) 43.67(9) h ß- to 48Ti 6+ N/A 408.93 -
49Sc 48.950024(4) 57.2(2) min ß- to 49Ti 7/2- N/A 418.87 -
50Sc 49.952188(17) 102.5(5) s ß- to 50Ti 5+ N/A 425.09 -
51Sc 50.953603(22) 12.4(1) s ß- to 51Ti (7/2)- N/A 432.24 -
52Sc 51.95668(21) 8.2(2) s ß- to 52Ti 3(+) N/A 437.52 -
53Sc 52.95961(32)# >3 s ß- to 53Ti; ß- to 52Ti (7/2-)# N/A 442.81 -
54Sc 53.96326(40) 260(30) ms ß- to 54Ti; ß- to 53Ti 3+# N/A 447.16 -
55Sc 54.96824(79) 0.115(15) s ß- to 55Ti; ß- to 54Ti 7/2-# N/A 450.58 -
56Sc 55.97287(75)# 35(5) ms ß- to 56Ti (1+) N/A 454.93 -
57Sc 56.97779(75)# 13(4) ms ß- to 57Ti 7/2-# N/A 458.35 -
58Sc 57.98371(86)# 12(5) ms ß- to 58Ti (3+)# N/A 460.84 -
59Sc 58.98922(97)# 10# ms ß- to 59Ti; ß- to 59Ti 7/2-# N/A 463.33 -
60Sc 59.99571(97)# 3# ms Unknown 3+# N/A 465.82 -
Scandium (Sc) Elemental Symbol

Recent Research & Development for Scandium

  • N,N'-dioxide-scandium(III)-catalyzed asymmetric Aza-Friedel-Crafts reaction of sesamol with aldimines. Bai S, Liao Y, Lin L, Luo W, Liu X, Feng X. J Org Chem. 2014 Nov 7: J Org Chem
  • Tuneable dynamics of a scandium nitride cluster inside an Ih-C80 cage. Feng Y, Wang T, Xiang J, Gan L, Wu B, Jiang L, Wang C. Dalton Trans. 2015 Feb 7: Dalton Trans
  • Effect of erbium, chromium: yttrium, scandium, gallium, garnet laser and casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate on surface micro-hardness of primary tooth enamel. Subramaniam P, Pandey A. Eur J Dent. 2014 Jul: Eur J Dent
  • Enantioselective synthesis of dihydrocoumarin derivatives by chiral scandium(III)-complex catalyzed inverse-electron-demand hetero-Diels-Alder reaction. Hu H, Liu Y, Guo J, Lin L, Xu Y, Liu X, Feng X. Chem Commun (Camb). 2015 Mar 4: Chem Commun (Camb)
  • Scandium and yttrium phosphasalen complexes as initiators for ring-opening polymerization of cyclic esters. Bakewell C, White AJ, Long NJ, Williams CK. Inorg Chem. 2015 Mar 2: Inorg Chem
  • Lewis Acid-induced change from four- to two-electron reduction of dioxygen catalyzed by copper complexes using scandium triflate. Kakuda S, Rolle CJ, Ohkubo K, Siegler MA, Karlin KD, Fukuzumi S. J Am Chem Soc. 2015 Mar 11: J Am Chem Soc
  • Binding of scandium ions to metalloporphyrin-flavin complexes for long-lived charge separation. Kojima T, Kobayashi R, Ishizuka T, Yamakawa S, Kotani H, Nakanishi T, Ohkubo K, Shiota Y, Yoshizawa K, Fukuzumi S. Chemistry. 2014 Nov 17: Chemistry
  • Achieving a direct band gap in oxygen functionalized-monolayer scandium carbide by applying an electric field. Lee Y, Hwang Y, Cho SB, Chung YC. Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2014 Dec 21: Phys Chem Chem Phys
  • Theoretical Studies on the Asymmetric Baeyer-Villiger Oxidation Reaction of 4-Phenylcyclohexanone with m-Chloroperoxobenzoic Acid Catalyzed by Chiral Scandium(III)-N,N'-Dioxide Complexes. Yang N, Su Z, Feng X, Hu C. Chemistry. 2015 Mar 24.: Chemistry
  • 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.