This is a SUPER easy guide on Yttrium element.
In fact, the table mentioned below is the perfect information box (Which gives you every single detail about the Yttrium element in Periodic table.)
So if you want to know anything about Yttrium element, then this guide is for you.
Let’s finish this very quickly.
Yttrium Element (Y) Information
Silvery white metallic surface
|State (at STP)||Solid|
|Position in Periodic table|
Group: 3, Period: 5, Block: d
Transition metals group
|Atomic number or |
|Atomic mass|| |
2, 8, 18, 9, 2
|Electronic configuration||[Kr] 4d1 5s2|
219 picometers (van der Waals radius)
|1st Ionization energy||6.217 eV|
1.22 (Pauling scale)
HCP (Hexagonal close packing)
|Melting point||1799 K or 1526 °C or 2779 °F|
|Boiling point||3203 K or 2930 °C or 5306 °F|
|Who discovered Yttrium and when?|
Johan Gadolin in 1794
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Yttrium in Periodic table
Yttrium element is in group 3 and period 5 of the Periodic table. Yttrium is the d-block element and it belongs to transition metals group.
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Why is Yttrium in Period 5?
Let me ask you a question.
How many shells does yttrium have?
It’s 5. Right?
You have already seen the bohr model of yttrium atom in the above table.
From the Bohr model, it can be found that the number of orbits or shells in yttrium is 5. Hence, as yttrium has 5 orbits, it lies in period 5 of the Periodic table.
Why is Yttrium in the d block?
Before knowing this reason, first of all a simple question to you.
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 Yttrium is [Kr] 5s2 4d1.
So the last electron of Yttrium enters the d-subshell or d-orbital.
Hence, yttrium is the d-block element.
Is Yttrium a Transition Metal? Why?
Yes, Yttrium is a transition metal because it has incompletely filled d-orbital in its ground state.
Let me explain the exact meaning of this.
According to the definition of transition metals;
The element should compulsorily have incomplete d-orbitals, either in their ground state (M) or most common oxidation states (M1+, M2+, etc) then only they are called transition metals.
Now, the ground state of Yttrium means its normal state in which it has neither gained nor lost any electron/s.
So the ground state of Yttrium is Y.
And the ground state electronic configuration of Yttrium is [Kr] 5s2 4d1.
In this state, if we see the electron configuration of Yttrium, then it possesses incomplete d-orbitals.
Because, there is only one electron in the d-orbitals.
In order to have the complete d-orbitals, there must be 10 electrons in it.
But in the ground state electronic configuration of yttrium, you can see that it has only 1 electrons in d-orbitals.
Thus, Yttrium has incomplete d-orbitals.
And hence, as Yttrium has incomplete d-orbitals, it is considered as a transition metal.
7 Interesting facts about Yttrium
Interesting facts about yttrium element are mentioned below.
- The name Yttrium was derived from the name “Ytterby”, which is a small town in Sweden.
- Yttrium is the 28th most abundant element on the earth. 
- The earth’s crust contains around 31 ppm of yttrium.
- Yttrium is a transition metal but it is also classified as a rare earth metal on a periodic table. Rare earth metals are not actually rare in quantity, but the fact is that they are spread evenly on the earth and it is very difficult to find these elements at one place on the earth. Thus they are rare in the context of available resources.
- Out of all the rare earth metals on periodic table, yttrium was discovered first.
- In the entire world, the yttrium element is majorly produced from countries like China, Russia, India, Malaysia and Australia.
- Yttrium is not found as a pure element from the earth crust.
Properties of Yttrium
The physical and chemical properties of yttrium element are mentioned below.
Physical properties of Yttrium
Physical properties of yttrium are mentioned below.
- Yttrium is a soft metal having a silvery white metallic surface.
- The atomic mass of yttrium is 88.906 u and its density is 4.472 g/cm3.
- The melting point of yttrium is 1526 °C and its boiling point is 2930 °C.
- Yttrium has many radioactive isotopes, but it has only one stable isotope (i.e 89Y).
Chemical properties of Yttrium
Chemical properties of yttrium are mentioned below.
- Yttrium is stable in air because the oxide layer formed on the surface of yttrium keeps it stable.
- The powdered form or small pieces of yttrium will ignite easily if they are heated in air.
- Yttrium reacts with water and forms yttrium hydroxide. During this reaction, hydrogen gas is liberated.
Uses of Yttrium
Uses of yttrium are mentioned below.
- Out of all the uses of yttrium, most of the yttrium is used in ceramic industries.
- Yttrium is used as an alloying metal which helps in improving the properties like resistance to oxidation as well as resistance to corrosion.
- In earlier color televisions, the yttrium element was used to get the red color on the TV screen. For this purpose, yttrium oxide doped with europium was used.
- Nd:YAG lasers also contain a yttrium element which is used to amplify the laser light.
- The radioactive isotope of yttrium (90Y) is used to treat liver cancer.
- Yttrium is used as a catalyst in polymerization of ethylene.
- Yttrium is also used in computer screens as well as camera lenses.
- YBCO (yttrium barium copper oxide) is a high temperature superconductor that contains yttrium in it.
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