Ytterbium (Yb) – Periodic Table (Element Information & More)

Ytterbium (Yb) element Periodic table

This is a SUPER easy guide on Ytterbium element.

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

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

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Ytterbium Element (Yb) Information

Appearance of Ytterbium appearance of ytterbium
Silvery white metallic surface with pale yellow tint
State of Ytterbium at STPSolid
Position of Ytterbium in Periodic tableYtterbium in periodic table (Position)
Group: lanthanides, Period: 6, Block: f
Category of Ytterbium elementytterbium element category
Inner transition metals
Atomic number of Ytterbium, or 
Protons in Ytterbium
70
Neutrons in Ytterbium103
Electrons in Ytterbium70
Symbol of YtterbiumYb
Atomic mass of Ytterbium Ytterbium (Yb) atomic mass
173.05 u
Electrons arrangement in Ytterbium

or 

Bohr model of Ytterbium
Bohr model of ytterbium (Electrons arrangement in ytterbium, Yb)
2, 8, 18, 32, 8, 2
Electronic configuration of Ytterbium[Xe] 4f14 6s2
Atomic radius of YtterbiumYtterbium (Yb) atomic radius
242 picometers (van der Waals radius)
1st Ionization energy of Ytterbium6.254 eV
Crystal structure of Ytterbiumcrystal structure of ytterbium
FCC (Face centered cubic)
Melting point of Ytterbium1097 K or 824 °C or 1515 °F
Boiling point of Ytterbium1469 K or 1196 °C or 2185 °F
Density of Ytterbium6.57 g/cm3
Main isotope of Ytterbium174Yb
Who discovered Ytterbium and when?Who discovered ytterbium and when?
Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac (in 1878)
CAS number7440-64-4

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Ytterbium in Periodic table

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

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Why is Ytterbium in Period 6?

Why is Ytterbium in Period 6

Let me ask you a question.

How many shells does ytterbium have?

It’s 6. Right?

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

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

Why is Ytterbium in f-block?

Why is Ytterbium 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 ytterbium is [Xe] 6s2 4f14.

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

Hence, ytterbium is the f-block element.

5 Interesting facts about Ytterbium

Interesting facts about ytterbium element are mentioned below.

  1. The name Ytterbium was derived from the name of a small village of Sweden (i.e “Ytterby”).
  2. Ytterbium was discovered by chemist Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac (in 1878).
  3. The proportion of ytterbium in the earth’s crust is approximately 3 ppm by weight.
  4. Ytterbium is the 44th most abundant element present in the earth’s crust.
  5. Ytterbium is a rare earth metal, but it is not actually rare in quantity. The fact is that it is spread evenly on the earth and it is very difficult to find this element at one place on the earth. Thus it is rare in the context of available resources.

Properties of Ytterbium

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

Physical properties of Ytterbium

Physical properties of ytterbium are mentioned below.

  • Ytterbium is a metal having a silvery white metallic surface with pale yellow tint.
  • Ytterbium is a soft metal that is malleable and also possesses some ductility.
  • The melting point of ytterbium is 824 °C and its boiling point is 1196 °C.
  • The atomic mass of ytterbium is 173.05 u and its density is 6.57 g/cm3.
  • The crystal structure of ytterbium is FCC (Face centered cubic).
  • Ytterbium has many isotopes, out of which 174Yb is the most abundant (having an abundance of approximately 31.8 %).

Chemical properties of Ytterbium

Chemical properties of ytterbium are mentioned below.

  • Ytterbium is a chemically reactive metal and hence it is not found free in nature. It is always found as a compound with other elements in the earth’s crust.
  • Ytterbium tarnishes in the air if it is kept open.
  • Ytterbium also reacts slowly with the water.
  • Ytterbium is a lanthanide that dissolves in mineral acids.
  • The electron configuration of Ytterbium is [Xe] 6s2 4f14 which indicates that the last electron enters the f-orbital. And as the last electron enters f-orbital, it is classified as f-block element on the periodic table.

Uses of Ytterbium

Uses of ytterbium are mentioned below.

  • In chemical industries, the compounds of ytterbium are used as a catalyst in the organic chemical reactions.
  • Ytterbium is added as an alloying element in manufacturing stainless steel, which improves the properties like strength, grain refinement, etc. [1]
  • Ytterbium is also used as a doping agent in fibre optic cables.

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References:
Chemical data: Wikipedia, Chemspider
Ytterbium element: Image credits- Images of elements 

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