Erbium (Er) – Periodic Table (Element Information & More)

Erbium (Er) element Periodic table

This is a SUPER easy guide on Erbium element.

In fact, the table mentioned below is the perfect information box (Which gives you every single detail about the Erbium element in Periodic table.)

So if you want to know anything about Erbium element, then this guide is for you.

Let’s finish this very quickly.

Erbium Element (Er) Information

Appearance of Erbium
Appearance of erbium
Silvery white metallic surface
State of Erbium at STPSolid
Position of Erbium in Periodic tableerbium in periodic table (Position)
Group: lanthanides, Period: 6, Block: f
Category of Erbium elementerbium element category
Inner transition metals
Atomic number of Erbium, or 
Protons in Erbium
68
Neutrons in Erbium99
Electrons in Erbium68
Symbol of ErbiumEr
Atomic mass of Erbium erbium (Er) atomic mass
167.26 u
Electrons arrangement in Erbium

or 

Bohr model of Erbium
Bohr model of erbium (Electrons arrangement in erbium, Er)
2, 8, 18, 30, 8, 2
Electronic configuration of Erbium[Xe] 4f12 6s2
Atomic radius of Erbiumerbium (Er) atomic radius
216 picometers (van der Waals radius)
1st Ionization energy of Erbium6.022 eV
Electronegativity of Erbium Electronegativity of erbium (Er)
1.23 (Pauling scale)
Crystal structure of Erbiumcrystal structure of erbium
HCP (Hexagonal close packed)
Melting point of Erbium1802 K or 1529 °C or 2784 °F
Boiling point of Erbium3141 K or 2868 °C or 5194 °F
Density of Erbium9.06 g/cm3
Main isotope of Erbium166Er
Who discovered Erbium and when?Who discovered erbium and when?
Carl Gustaf Mosander (in 1843)
CAS number7440-52-0

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Erbium in Periodic table

Erbium element is in period 6 and in lanthanide group of the Periodic table. Erbium is the f-block element and it belongs to inner transition metals group.

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Why is Erbium in Period 6?

Why is Erbium in Period 6

Let me ask you a question.

How many shells does erbium have?

It’s 6. Right?

You have already seen the bohr model of erbium atom in the above table.

From the Bohr model, it can be found that the number of orbits or shells in erbium is 6. Hence, as erbium has 6 orbits, it lies in period 6 of the Periodic table. 

Why is Erbium in f-block?

Why is Erbium in f-block

Before knowing this reason, first of all I want to ask you a simple question.

How can you determine the blocks-wise position of elements?

The simple answer: The elements will lie in the s, p, d or f block will completely depend upon the subshell in which the last electron will enter.

For example; the electron configuration of erbium is [Xe] 6s2 4f12.

So the last electron of erbium enters the f-subshell or f-orbital. 

Hence, erbium is the f-block element.

5 Interesting facts about Erbium

Interesting facts about erbium element are mentioned below.

  1. The name “Erbium” came from the name of a small village “Ytterby” of Sweden.
  2. The erbium element was discovered by Carl Gustaf Mosander (in 1843).
  3. Erbium is not found free in nature, but it is found from its minerals like gadolinite, xenomite, euxenite, etc.
  4. The Erbium element was discovered by Carl Gustaf Mosander (in 1843).
  5. The concentration of erbium in the earth’s crust is approximately 3 ppm by weight.

Properties of Erbium

The physical and chemical properties of erbium element are mentioned below.

Physical properties of Erbium

Physical properties of erbium are mentioned below.

  • Erbium element is soft and malleable and it has a silvery white metallic surface.
  • The atomic mass of erbium is 167.26 u and its density is 9.06 g/cm3.
  • The melting point and boiling point of erbium are 1529 °C and 2868 °C respectively.
  • The crystal structure of erbium is HCP (Hexagonal close packed).
  • Erbium has many isotopes (including natural isotopes as well as synthetic isotopes). But out of those isotopes, the most abundant isotope is 166Er (having an abundance of approximately 33.5 %).

Chemical properties of Erbium

Chemical properties of erbium are mentioned below.

  • Erbium metal is much stable in air at room temperature, and it does not oxidize easily at room temperature.
  • Erbium reacts slowly with water and it also dissolves in acids.
  • The salts of erbium are light pink in color and they exist as Er3+ ions in its compounds.

Uses of Erbium

Uses of erbium are mentioned below.

  • Erbium has a good neutron absorbing capacity. Hence it is used as a control rod in nuclear reactors.
  • The oxide of the erbium element is used to give pink tint in glasses. [1]
  • The hardness of metals can be reduced by adding a small proportion of erbium in it.
  • Erbium has some medical applications too. It is used in lasers to treat skin problems.

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References:
Chemical data: Wikipedia, Chemspider
Erbium element: Image by Tomihahndorf, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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