The metal is extracted from the solution as oxalate and converted to oxide by heating. It is a rare earth element, and it is readily dissolved by the strong mineral acids. Finely dispersed ytterbium readily oxidizes in air and under oxygen. [10], As an even-numbered lanthanide, in accordance with the Oddo-Harkins rule, ytterbium is significantly more abundant than its immediate neighbors, thulium and lutetium, which occur in the same concentrate at levels of about 0.5% each. Ytterbium fluoride is used as a filling for teeth and an x-ray contrast agent. The primary decay products of ytterbium isotopes lighter than 174Yb are thulium isotopes, and the primary decay products of ytterbium isotopes with heavier than 174Yb are lutetium isotopes. - Common & Historical Uses, Fermium: Element Properties, Uses & Facts, Gadolinium: Element Facts, Discovery & Properties, Gadolinium: Toxicity, Allergy & Poisoning. Experiments show that radiographs taken with a 169Yb source are roughly equivalent to those taken with X-rays having energies between 250 and 350 keV. Ytterbium fiber laser amplifiers are used in marking and engraving. Some ytterbium isotopes generate gamma rays, which can be used to create a radiographic image of an object without the use of electricity. It also acts as an industrial catalyst. just create an account. Ytterbium has no major commercial uses. The chemical and physical properties of ytterbium could not be determined with any precision until 1953, when the first nearly pure ytterbium metal was produced by using ion-exchange processes. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. The high-temperature gamma allotrope (6.57 g/cm3) has a body-centered cubic crystalline structure. The model with one single ytterbium ion caught in an ion trap is highly accurate. However, like the other lanthanides, its most common oxidation state is +3, as in its oxide, halides, and other compounds. Ytterbium and its compounds are not normally found in the human body. Ytterbium fires cannot be extinguished using water, and only dry chemical class D fire extinguishers can extinguish the fires. Part of the reason is that metallic ytterbium dust presents a fire hazard, evolving toxic fumes as it burns. It is a soft, malleable silvery metal that will tarnish slightly when stored in air and therefore should be stored in vacuum or in an inert Erbium is a transition metal as well as a rare earth element. - Discovery & Properties, What is Dysprosium Used For? The +2 state has a valence electron configuration of 4f14 because the fully filled f-shell gives more stability. [52], Currently, ytterbium is being investigated as a possible replacement for magnesium in high density pyrotechnic payloads for kinematic infrared decoy flares. © copyright 2003-2020 Study.com. Fabrication of Low NA, Large Mode Area fibers enable achievement of near perfect beam qualities (M2<1.1) at power levels of 1.5 kW to greater than 2 kW at ~1064 nm in a broadband configuration. The discovery of radioactivity introduced a new usage of uranium in science. It has characteristics and properties that make it valuable for many uses. These compounds have a variety of uses. When added to steel, ytterbium increases the strength. The abundance of ytterbium in the Earth's crust is about 3 mg/kg. 27 radioisotopes have been observed, with the most stable ones being 169Yb with a half-life of 32.0 days, 175Yb with a half-life of 4.18 days, and 166Yb with a half-life of 56.7 hours. [14][15], Ytterbium is found with other rare earth elements in several rare minerals. It is used to make certain lasers. This isotope is used as a radiation source in things like gamma cameras. [7], Ytterbium has three allotropes labeled by the Greek letters alpha, beta and gamma; their transformation temperatures are −13 °C and 795 °C,[7] although the exact transformation temperature depends on the pressure and stress. [30][31][32] The Commission on Atomic Mass, consisting of Frank Wigglesworth Clarke, Wilhelm Ostwald, and Georges Urbain, which was then responsible for the attribution of new element names, settled the dispute in 1909 by granting priority to Urbain and adopting his names as official ones, based on the fact that the separation of lutetium from Marignac's ytterbium was first described by Urbain. It can be alloyed with stainless steel to improve some of its mechanical properties and used as a doping agent in fiber optic cable. Thus, small 169Yb samples (which emit gamma rays) act like tiny X-ray machines useful for radiography of small objects. Ytterbium is used most often as a dopant. What is Californium Used For in Everyday Life? Ytterbium metal has possible use in improving the grain refinement, strength, and other mechanical properties of stainless steel. It is a rare earth metal, which despite its name, does not mean that it is hard to find. The charged ion 171Yb+ is used in trapped-ion qubits in quantum computing. However, ytterbium is stored and treated as if it were a highly toxic chemical. Stimulated emission generated in the fiber passes through the inner core, which often is singlemode. Ytterbium chloride is a catalyst in organic chemistry reactions. A laser made with ytterbium has properties different from those without ytterbium. study These can be achieved only via optimization of all the ytterbium fiber parameters, ranging from the core background losses to the geometrical properties, in order to reduce the splice losses within the cavity. [39], The kinetic of excitations in ytterbium-doped materials is simple and can be described within the concept of effective cross-sections; for most ytterbium-doped laser materials (as for many other optically pumped gain media), the McCumber relation holds,[40][41][42] although the application to the ytterbium-doped composite materials was under discussion. - Element Facts & Characteristics, Biological and Biomedical Ytterbium metal wasn't isolated until 1937 when potassium was mixed with ytterbium chloride. In aqueous solution, like compounds of other late lanthanides, soluble ytterbium compounds form complexes with nine water molecules. [48] Ytterbium-doped LMA fibers also have the advantages of a larger mode field diameter, which negates the impacts of nonlinear effects such as stimulated Brillouin scattering and stimulated Raman scattering, which limit the achievement of higher power levels, and provide a distinct advantage over single mode ytterbium-doped fibers. credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level. Ytterbium fluoride (YbF3) Ytterbium trifluoride. Much progress has been made in the power scaling lasers and amplifiers produced with ytterbium (Yb) doped optical fibers. Uses of Ytterbium. [7] The alpha allotrope (6.903 g/cm3) has a hexagonal crystalline structure and is stable at low temperatures. Did you know… We have over 220 college It is used as dopant to improve the grain refinement, strength and other mechanical properties of stainless steel. What is Ytterbium. For example, ytterbium(III) chloride (YbCl3) is a Lewis acid and can be used as a catalyst in the Aldol[21] and Diels–Alder reactions. Its radioactive isotope 160 Yb is used as a source of radiation in portable x-ray imaging equipment [5]. These compounds have a variety of uses. The Austrian chemist Carl Auer von Welsbach independently isolated these elements from ytterbia at about the same time, but he called them aldebaranium and cassiopeium;[10] the American chemist Charles James also independently isolated these elements at about the same time. It reacts slowly with cold water and it oxidizes slowly in air. [18][19], Ytterbium is separated from other rare earths either by ion exchange or by reduction with sodium amalgam. All of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lives that are less than two hours, and most of these have half-lives under 20 minutes. Ytterbium is a soft, malleable and rather ductile element that exhibits a bright silvery luster.A rare earth, the element is easily attacked and dissolved by mineral acids, slowly reacts with water, and oxidizes in air.The oxide forms a protective layer on the surface. It is therefore used in stress gauges to monitor ground deformations caused by earthquakes or underground explosions. The mass number, or the number of protons and neutrons, of ytterbium ranges from 148 to 181. [54] All compounds of ytterbium are treated as highly toxic, although studies appear to indicate that the danger is minimal. Visible light waves oscillate faster than microwaves, and therefore optical clocks can be more precise than caesium atomic clocks. Reserves of ytterbium are estimated as one million tonnes. Uses of ytterbium. The small quantum defect makes ytterbium a prospective dopant for efficient lasers and power scaling. Ytterbium metal has possible use in improving the grain refinement, strength, and other mechanical properties of stainless steel. [20], The chemical behavior of ytterbium is similar to that of the rest of the lanthanides. Most ytterbium compounds are found in the +3 oxidation state, and its salts in this oxidation state are nearly colorless.
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