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About Ytterbium

Ytterbium Bohr

Ytterbium oxide was first isolated by Swiss chemist Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac from a sample of gadolinite in 1878. Marignac suspected the compound contained a previously unknown element, and named this element “ytterbium” due to the origins of the first gadolinite samples in a mine near Ytterby, Sweden. Ytterbium was the last of four elements to be given a name derived from association with the Ytterby mine, the others being yttrium, terbium, and erbium.

Ytterbium is used most often as a dopant. In crystal and glass structures, ytterbium doping produces laser media and optical fibers. In stainless steel, ytterbium improves grain refinement and strength. Ytterbium may be added to silicon photocells to improve efficiency of solar energy absorption at infrared wavelengths. Ytterbium is also used in thermal barrier coatings on transition metal alloy substrates.

Ytterbium metal has the unique property of increasing in electrical resistance when under stress; this property is exploited in stress gauges for monitoring ground deformations from earthquakes and nuclear explosions. It has also been used to produce an atomic clock with greater accuracy than the cesium atomic clock used as the current time standard. Experimentally, ytterbium is being investigated for a variety of specialized applications, including in highly sensitive small-molecule sensors and medical X-ray computed tomography scan contrast agents.

Ytterbium is a rare earth element and can theoretically be found in any rare earth-containing mineral, but as a heavy rare earth element (HREE) it is more common in HREE-enriched minerals such as xenotime and euxenite. Additionally, ytterbium is present in ion adsorption clays, which are a major source of HREEs due to their relative ease of processing, despite the low percentage quantities of rare earths they contain.


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High Purity (99.999%) Ytterbium (Yb) Sputtering Target Ytterbium is being applied to numerous fiber amplifier and fiber optic technologies and in various lasing applications. It has a single dominant absorption band at High Purity (99.999%) Ytterbium Oxide (Yb2O3) Powder 985 in the infra-red making it useful in silicon photocells to directly convert radiant energy to electricity. Ytterbium metal increases its electrical resistance when subjected to very high stresses. This property is used in stress gauges for monitoring ground deformations from earthquakes and nuclear explosions. It is also used in thermal barrier system bond coatings on nickel, iron and other transitional metal alloy substrates. Ytterbium is available as metal and compounds with purities from 99% to 99.999% (ACS grade to ultra-high purity). Elemental or metallic forms of ytterbium include pellets, rod, wire, and granules for evaporation source material purposes. Ytterbium 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. Ytterbium is also available in soluble forms including chloride, nitrate and acetate. These compounds can be manufactured as solutions at specified stoichiometries.

Ytterbium Properties

Ytterbium (Yb) atomic and molecular weight, atomic number and elemental symbolYtterbium has 2 valency states, +2 and +3. Ytterbium Bohr Model On the periodic table, Ytterbium is a Block F, Group 3, Period 6 element. Ytterbium is found in monazite sand as well as the ores euxenite and xenotime. Ytterbium was first discovered by Jean de Marignac in 1878. The name Ytterbium originates after the name for the Swedish village of Ytterby.

Symbol: Yb
Atomic Number: 70
Atomic Weight: 173.04
Element Category: Lanthanide
Group, Period, Block: n/a, 6, f
Color: silvery-white
Other Names: Itterbio, Itérbio, Yterbio
Melting Point: 824°C, 1515.2°F, 1097.15 K
Boiling Point: 1196°C, 2184.8°F, 1469.15 K
Density: 6570 kg/m3
Liquid Density @ Melting Point: 6.21 g·cm3
Density @ 20°C: 6.97 g/cm3
Density of Solid: 6570 kg·m3
Specific Heat: 0.0346 Cal/g/K @ 25 °C
Superconductivity Temperature: N/A
Triple Point: N/A
Critical Point: N/A
Heat of Fusion (kJ·mol-1): 9.2
Heat of Vaporization (kJ·mol-1): 159
Heat of Atomization (kJ·mol-1): 152.8
Thermal Conductivity: 0.349 W/cm/K @ 298.2 K
Thermal Expansion: (r.t.) (poly) 26.3 µm/(m·K)
Electrical Resistivity: 29.0 nΩ-cm @ 25 °C
Tensile Strength: 66 MPa
Molar Heat Capacity: 26.74 J·mol-1·K-1
Young's Modulus: ( form) 23.9 GPa
Shear Modulus: (form) 9.9 GPa
Bulk Modulus: ( form) 30.5 GPa
Poisson Ratio: (form) 0.207
Mohs Hardness: N/A
Vickers Hardness: 206 MPa
Brinell Hardness: 343 MPa
Speed of Sound: (20 °C) 1590 m·s-1
Pauling Electronegativity: N/A
Sanderson Electronegativity: N/A
Allred Rochow Electronegativity: 1.06
Mulliken-Jaffe Electronegativity: N/A
Allen Electronegativity: N/A
Pauling Electropositivity: N/A
Reflectivity (%): N/A
Refractive Index: N/A
Electrons: 70
Protons: 70
Neutrons: 103
Electron Configuration: [Xe]4f14 6s2
Atomic Radius: 176 pm
Atomic Radius,
non-bonded (Å):
Covalent Radius: 187±8 pm
Covalent Radius (Å): 1.78
Van der Waals Radius: 242 pm
Oxidation States: 3, 2, 1 (basic oxide)
Phase: Solid
Crystal Structure: face-centered cubic
Magnetic Ordering: paramagnetic
Electron Affinity (kJ·mol-1) -3.929
1st Ionization Energy: 603.44 kJ·mol-1
2nd Ionization Energy: 1174.82 kJ·mol-1
3rd Ionization Energy: 2416.97 kJ·mol-1
CAS Number: 7440-64-4
EC Number: 231-173-2
MDL Number: MFCD00011286
Beilstein Number: N/A
SMILES Identifier: [Yb]
InChI Identifier: InChI=1S/Yb
PubChem CID: 23992
ChemSpider ID: 22428
Earth - Total: 229 ppb
Mercury - Total: 176 ppb
Venus - Total: 240 ppb
Earth - Seawater (Oceans), ppb by weight: 0.0008
Earth - Seawater (Oceans), ppb by atoms: 0.000029
Earth -  Crust (Crustal Rocks), ppb by weight: 2800
Earth -  Crust (Crustal Rocks), ppb by atoms: 340
Sun - Total, ppb by weight: 1
Sun - Total, ppb by atoms: 0.01
Stream, ppb by weight: 0.05
Stream, ppb by atoms: 0.0003
Meterorite (Carbonaceous), ppb by weight: 180
Meterorite (Carbonaceous), ppb by atoms: 20
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: 0.01
Discovered By: Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac
Discovery Date: 1878
First Isolation: Georges Urbain (1907)

Health, Safety & Transportation Information for Ytterbium

Ytterbium is considered to be fairly toxic. Safety data for Ytterbium 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) Ytterbium.

Safety Data
Signal Word Danger
Hazard Statements H228-H302-H312-H315-H319-H332-H335
Hazard Codes F,Xn
Risk Codes 11-20/21/22
Safety Precautions 16-33-36
RTECS Number ZG1925000
Transport Information UN 3089 4.1/PG 2
WGK Germany 3
Globally Harmonized System of
Classification and Labelling (GHS)
Exclamation Mark-Acute Toxicity Flame-Flammables
Review and Print SDS for Ytterbium Metal


Date Created: 05/15/2015
Date Revised: 05/15/2015


Product Name: Ytterbium Metal

Product Number: All applicable American Elements product codes, e.g. YB-M-02, YB-M-03, YB-M-04, YB-M-05

CAS #: 7440-64-4

Relevant identified uses of the substance: Scientific research and development

Supplier details:
American Elements
1093 Broxton Ave. Suite 2000
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tel: +1 310-208-0551
Fax: +1 310-208-0351

Emergency telephone number:
Domestic, North America +1 800-424-9300
International +1 703-527-3887


Classification of the substance or mixture
Classification according to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008
The substance is not classified as hazardous to health or the environment according to the CLP regulation.
Classification according to Directive 67/548/EEC or Directive 1999/45/EC
Not applicable
Information concerning particular hazards for human and environment:
No information known.
Hazards not otherwise classified
No information known.
Label elements
Labelling according to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008
Not applicable
Hazard pictograms
Not applicable
Signal word
Not applicable
Hazard statements
Not applicable
WHMIS classification
Not controlled
Classification system
HMIS ratings (scale 0-4)
(Hazardous Materials Identification System)
Health (acute effects) = 1
Flammability = 1
Physical Hazard = 1
Other hazards
Results of PBT and vPvB assessment
PBT: Not applicable.
vPvB: Not applicable.


Chemical characterization: Substances
CAS# Description:
7440-64-4 Ytterbium
Identification number(s):
EC number: 231-173-2


Description of first aid measures
After inhalation
Supply fresh air. If required, provide artificial respiration. Keep patient warm.
Seek immediate medical advice.
After skin contact
Immediately wash with water and soap and rinse thoroughly.
Seek immediate medical advice.
After eye contact
Rinse opened eye for several minutes under running water. Then consult a doctor.
After swallowing
Seek medical treatment.
Information for doctor
Most important symptoms and effects, both acute and delayed
No further relevant information available.
Indication of any immediate medical attention and special treatment needed
No further relevant information available.


Extinguishing media
Suitable extinguishing agents
Special powder for metal fires. Do not use water.
For safety reasons unsuitable extinguishing agents
Special hazards arising from the substance or mixture
If this product is involved in a fire, the following can be released:
Ytterbium oxide
Advice for firefighters
Protective equipment:
Wear self-contained respirator.
Wear fully protective impervious suit.


Personal precautions, protective equipment and emergency procedures
Wear protective equipment. Keep unprotected persons away.
Ensure adequate ventilation
Environmental precautions:
Do not allow product to reach sewage system or any water course.
Do not allow to penetrate the ground/soil.
Methods and material for containment and cleaning up:
Pick up mechanically.
Prevention of secondary hazards:
No special measures required.
Reference to other sections
See Section 7 for information on safe handling
See Section 8 for information on personal protection equipment.
See Section 13 for disposal information.


Precautions for safe handling
Keep container tightly sealed.
Store in cool, dry place in tightly closed containers.
Information about protection against explosions and fires:
No information known.
Conditions for safe storage, including any incompatibilities
Requirements to be met by storerooms and receptacles:
No special requirements.
Information about storage in one common storage facility:
Do not store together with acids.
Further information about storage conditions:
Keep container tightly sealed.
Store in cool, dry conditions in well sealed containers.
Specific end use(s)
No further relevant information available.


Additional information about design of technical systems:
Properly operating chemical fume hood designed for hazardous chemicals and having an average face velocity of at least 100 feet per minute.
Control parameters
Components with limit values that require monitoring at the workplace:
The product does not contain any relevant quantities of materials with critical values that have to be monitored at the workplace.
Additional information: No data
Exposure controls
Personal protective equipment
General protective and hygienic measures
The usual precautionary measures for handling chemicals should be followed.
Keep away from foodstuffs, beverages and feed.
Remove all soiled and contaminated clothing immediately.
Wash hands before breaks and at the end of work.
Maintain an ergonomically appropriate working environment.
Breathing equipment:
Use suitable respirator when high concentrations are present.
Recommended filter device for short term use:
Use a respirator with type P100 (USA) or P3 (EN 143) cartridges as a backup to engineering controls. Risk assessment should be performed to determine if air-purifying respirators are appropriate. Only use equipment tested and approved under appropriate government standards.
Protection of hands: Impervious gloves
Check protective gloves prior to each use for their proper condition.
The selection of suitable gloves not only depends on the material, but also on quality. Quality will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Material of gloves
Nitrile rubber, NBR
Penetration time of glove material (in minutes)
Glove thickness
0.11 mm
Eye protection: Safety glasses
Body protection: Protective work clothing.


Information on basic physical and chemical properties
General Information
Form: Solid in various forms
Color: Silver grey
Odor: Not determined
Odor threshold: Not determined.
pH-value: Not applicable.
Change in condition
Melting point/Melting range: Not determined
Boiling point/Boiling range: Not determined
Sublimation temperature / start: Not determined
Flammability (solid, gaseous): Not determined.
Ignition temperature: Not determined
Decomposition temperature: Not determined
Auto igniting: Not determined.
Danger of explosion: Not determined.
Explosion limits:
Lower: Not determined
Upper: Not determined
Vapor pressure: Not applicable.
Density: Not determined
Relative density: Not determined.
Vapor density: Not applicable.
Evaporation rate: Not applicable.
Solubility in / Miscibility with Water: Not determined
Partition coefficient (n-octanol/water): Not determined
dynamic: Not applicable.
kinematic: Not applicable.
Other information
No further relevant information available.


No information known.
Chemical stability
Stable under recommended storage conditions.
Thermal decomposition / conditions to be avoided:
Decomposition will not occur if used and stored according to specifications.
Possibility of hazardous reactions
No dangerous reactions known
Conditions to avoid
No further relevant information available.
Incompatible materials:
Hazardous decomposition products:
Ytterbium oxide


Information on toxicological effects
Acute toxicity: No effects known.
LD/LC50 values that are relevant for classification: No data
Skin irritation or corrosion: May cause irritation
Eye irritation or corrosion: May cause irritation
Sensitization: No sensitizing effects known.
Germ cell mutagenicity: No effects known.
No classification data on carcinogenic properties of this material is available from the EPA, IARC, NTP, OSHA or ACGIH.
The Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) contains tumorigenic and/or carcinogenic and/or neoplastic data for this substance.
Reproductive toxicity: No effects known.
Specific target organ system toxicity - repeated exposure: No effects known.
Specific target organ system toxicity - single exposure: No effects known.
Aspiration hazard: No effects known.
Subacute to chronic toxicity: No effects known.
Additional toxicological information:
To the best of our knowledge the acute and chronic toxicity of this substance is not fully known.


Aquatic toxicity:
No further relevant information available.
Persistence and degradability
No further relevant information available.
Bioaccumulative potential
No further relevant information available.
Mobility in soil
No further relevant information available.
Additional ecological information:
General notes:
Do not allow undiluted product or large quantities to reach ground water, water course or sewage system.
Avoid transfer into the environment.
Results of PBT and vPvB assessment
PBT: Not applicable.
vPvB: Not applicable.
Other adverse effects
No further relevant information available.


Waste treatment methods
Consult state, local or national regulations to ensure proper disposal.
Uncleaned packagings:
Disposal must be made according to official regulations.


Not applicable
UN proper shipping name
Not applicable
Transport hazard class(es)
Not applicable
Packing group
Not applicable
Environmental hazards:
Not applicable.
Special precautions for user
Not applicable.
Transport in bulk according to Annex II of MARPOL73/78 and the IBC Code
Not applicable.
Transport/Additional information:
Marine Pollutant (DOT):
UN "Model Regulation":


Safety, health and environmental regulations/legislation specific for the substance or mixture
National regulations
All components of this product are listed in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Toxic Substances Control Act Chemical substance Inventory.
All components of this product are listed on the Canadian Domestic Substances List (DSL).
SARA Section 313 (specific toxic chemical listings)
Substance is not listed.
California Proposition 65
Prop 65 - Chemicals known to cause cancer
Substance is not listed.
Prop 65 - Developmental toxicity
Substance is not listed.
Prop 65 - Developmental toxicity, female
Substance is not listed.
Prop 65 - Developmental toxicity, male
Substance is not listed.
Information about limitation of use:
For use only by technically qualified individuals.
Other regulations, limitations and prohibitive regulations
Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) according to the REACH Regulations (EC) No. 1907/2006.
Substance is not listed.
The conditions of restrictions according to Article 67 and Annex XVII of the Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (REACH) for the manufacturing, placing on the market and use must be observed.
Substance is not listed.
Annex XIV of the REACH Regulations (requiring Authorisation for use)
Substance is not listed.
REACH - Pre-registered substances
Substance is listed.
Chemical safety assessment:
A Chemical Safety Assessment has not been carried out.


Safety Data Sheet according to Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 (REACH). The above information is believed to be correct but does not purport to be all inclusive and shall be used only as a guide. The information in this document is based on the present state of our knowledge and is applicable to the product with regard to appropriate safety precautions. It does not represent any guarantee of the properties of the product. American Elements shall not be held liable for any damage resulting from handling or from contact with the above product. See reverse side of invoice or packing slip for additional terms and conditions of sale. COPYRIGHT 1997-2016 AMERICAN ELEMENTS. LICENSED GRANTED TO MAKE UNLIMITED PAPER COPIES FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY.

Ytterbium Isotopes

Naturally occurring ytterbium has 7 stable isotopes: 168Yb, 170Yb, 171Yb, 172Yb, 173Yb, 174Yb, and 176Yb.

Nuclide Isotopic Mass Half-Life Mode of Decay Nuclear Spin Magnetic Moment Binding Energy (MeV) Natural Abundance
(% by atom)
148Yb 147.96742(64)# 250# ms ß+ to 148Tm 0+ N/A 1154.37 -
149Yb 148.96404(54)# 0.7(2) s ß+ to 149Tm (1/2+,3/2+) N/A 1162.45 -
150Yb 149.95842(43)# 700# ms [>200 ns] ß+ to 150Tm 0+ N/A 1179.84 -
151Yb 150.95540(32) 1.6(5) s ß+ to 151Tm (1/2+) N/A 1187.92 -
152Yb 151.95029(22) 3.04(6) s ß+ to 152Tm 0+ N/A 1196 -
153Yb 152.94948(21)# 4.2(2) s a to 149Er; ß+ to 153Tm; ß++ p to 152Er 7/2-# N/A 1213.4 -
154Yb 153.946394(19) 0.409(2) s a to 150Er; ß+ to 154Tm 0+ N/A 1221.47 -
155Yb 154.945782(18) 1.793(19) s a to 151Er; ß+ to 155Tm (7/2-) N/A 1229.55 -
156Yb 155.942818(12) 26.1(7) s ß+ to 156Tm; a to 152Er 0+ N/A 1237.63 -
157Yb 156.942628(11) 38.6(10) s ß+ to 157Tm; a to 153Er 7/2- N/A 1245.71 -
158Yb 157.939866(9) 1.49(13) min ß+ to 158Tm; a to 154Er 0+ N/A 1263.11 -
159Yb 158.94005(2) 1.67(9) min ß+ to 159Tm 5/2(-) N/A 1261.87 -
160Yb 159.937552(18) 4.8(2) min ß+ to 160Tm 0+ N/A 1279.26 -
161Yb 160.937902(17) 4.2(2) min ß+ to 161Tm 3/2- N/A 1287.34 -
162Yb 161.935768(17) 18.87(19) min ß+ to 162Tm 0+ N/A 1295.42 -
163Yb 162.936334(17) 11.05(25) min ß+ to 163Tm 3/2- N/A 1303.5 -
164Yb 163.934489(17) 75.8(17) min EC to 164Tm 0+ N/A 1311.58 -
165Yb 164.93528(3) 9.9(3) min ß+ to 165Tm 5/2- N/A 1319.66 -
166Yb 165.933882(9) 56.7(1) h EC to 166Tm 0+ N/A 1327.74 -
167Yb 166.934950(5) 17.5(2) min EC to 167Tm 5/2- 0.62 1335.81 -
168Yb 167.933897(5) Observationally Stable - 0+ N/A 1343.89 0.13
169Yb 168.935190(5) 32.026(5) d EC to 169Tm 7/2+ -0.63 1351.97 -
170Yb 169.9347618(26) Observationally Stable - 0+ N/A 1360.05 3.04
171Yb 170.9363258(26) Observationally Stable - 1/2- 0.4919 1368.13 14.28
172Yb 171.9363815(26) Observationally Stable - 0+ N/A 1376.21 21.83
173Yb 172.9382108(26) Observationally Stable - 5/2- -0.6776 1384.29 16.13
174Yb 173.9388621(26) Observationally Stable - 0+ N/A 1392.36 31.83
175Yb 174.9412765(26) 4.185(1) d ß- to 175Lu 7/2- 0.6 1391.13 -
176Yb 175.9425717(28) Observationally Stable - 0+ N/A 1399.21 12.76
177Yb 176.9452608(28) 1.911(3) h ß- to 177Lu (9/2+) N/A 1407.28 -
178Yb 177.946647(11) 74(3) min ß- to 178Lu 0+ N/A 1415.36 -
179Yb 178.95017(32)# 8.0(4) min ß- to 179Lu (1/2-) N/A 1414.13 -
180Yb 179.95233(43)# 2.4(5) min ß- to 180Lu 0+ N/A 1422.2 -
181Yb 180.95615(43)# 1# min ß- to 181Lu 3/2-# N/A 1430.28 -