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The Mineralogy of Erbium

General Properties
Atomic Number:68
Standard atomic weight (Ar):167.259(3)
Electron configuration:[Xe] 4f12 6s2
Ultrapure erbium with cut traces
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):1.24
Atomic Radius:226 pm
Ionic Radius:89 pm (+3)
1st Ionization energy:589 kJ/mol
1st Electron affinity:-50 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:3
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:1770 K
Boiling Point:3141 K
Density:9.07 g/cm3
Main isotopes of Erbium
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
162Er0.139%>1.4x1014yα ?158Dy
β+β+ ?162Dy
164Er1.601%-α ?160Dy
β+β+ ?164Dy
166Er33.503%-α ?162Dy
167Er22.869%-α ?163Dy
170Er14.910%>3.2x1017yα ?166Dy
β-β- ?170Yb
Main ions of Erbium
NameIonExample minerals
Other Information
Year Discovered:1842
Discovered By:
Carl Gustaf Mosander
Named For:
the village of Ytterby in Sweden
CPK color coding:#006E75
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's
Simple Compounds
Nitrideserbium nitrideErN+3
Sulfideserbium sulphideErS+2
dierbium trisulphideEr2S3+3
Selenidesdierbium triselenideEr2Se3+3
Tellurideserbium tellurideErTe+2
dierbium tritellurideEr2Te3+3
Hydrideserbium trihydrideErH3+3
Fluorideserbium trifluorideErF3+3
Chlorideserbium trichlorideErCl3+3
erbium trichloride hexahydrateErCl3 · 6H2O+3
Iodideserbium triiodideErI3+3
Oxidesdierbium trioxideEr2O3+3
Geochemistry of Erbium
Goldschmidt classification:Lithophile
Er3+ was one of the ions least depleted from the mantle in the formation of the crust.
Er3+ is enriched in Ca-Al-rich inclusions in meteorites relative to the composition of the solar system.
Er3+ is concentrated in residual soils and sediments (less certainty.)
Elemental Abundance for Erbium
Crust (CRC Handbook)3.5 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)3.6 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)3.5 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)2.200 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Wänke)3.390 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)2.300 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)8.7 x 10-13mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)8.7 x 10-12mass per volume fraction, kg/L
The Sun (Kaye & Laby)2.4 x 10-7atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)2.5 x 10-7atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)2.508 x 10-7 (1.3%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Periodic Table
1H 2He
3Li 4Be 5B 6C 7N 8O 9F 10Ne
11Na 12Mg 13Al 14Si 15P 16S 17Cl 18Ar
19K 20Ca 21Sc 22Ti 23V 24Cr 25Mn 26Fe 27Co 28Ni 29Cu 30Zn 31Ga 32Ge 33As 34Se 35Br 36Kr
37Rb 38Sr 39Y 40Zr 41Nb 42Mo 43Tc 44Ru 45Rh 46Pd 47Ag 48Cd 49In 50Sn 51Sb 52Te 53I 54Xe
55Cs 56Ba 57La 72Hf 73Ta 74W 75Re 76Os 77Ir 78Pt 79Au 80Hg 81Tl 82Pb 83Bi 84Po 85At 86Rn
87Fr 88Ra 89Ac 104Rd 105Db 106Sg 107Bh 108Hs 109Mt 110Ds 111Rg 112Cn 113Nh 114Fl 115Mc 116Lv 117Ts 118Og
58Ce 59Pr 60Nd 61Pm 62Sm 63Eu 64Gd 65Tb 66Dy 67Ho 68Er 69Tm 70Yb 71Lu
90Th 91Pa 92U 93Np 94Pu 95Am 96Cm 97Bk 98Cf 99Es 100Fm 101Md 102No 103Lr
Default Categories CPK Electronegativity Atomic Radius Lowest Oxidation Highest Oxidation Crustal Abundance Goldschmidt Mineral Species
Holmium << Erbium >> Thulium

Spotted a mistake/omission? - These pages are a work in progress, so please send all comments/corrections to Thank you.

Constants and physical property data from:

David R. Lide (ed.), CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 85th Edition. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida (2005).
Kaye and Laby Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants (2005). Section 3.1.3, Abundances of the elements
A. Earnshaw, N. Greenwood, Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, (1997)
Thomas J. Ahrens (ed.), Global Earth Physics : A Handbook of Physical Constants, American Geophysical Union (1995)
L.B. Railsback, An Earth Scientist's Periodic Table of the Elements and Their Ions : Geology 31:9 p737-740 (2003)
Emsley, J. Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. New York: Oxford University Press (2001)
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