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

erbium element periodic table

Erbium element (Er) is in period 6 of a periodic table. Erbium is in the f-block and it is classified as a lanthanide on the periodic table.

There is a lot more information related to erbium which is mentioned in the Information Table given below.

So let’s dive right into it!

Table of contents

Erbium Element (Information Table)

The important data related to erbium element is given in the table below.

Appearance of erbiumSilvery white appearance
Atomic number of erbium68
Symbol of erbiumEr
Atomic mass of erbium167.26 u
Protons, Neutrons & Electrons in erbiumProtons: 68, Neutrons: 99, Electrons: 68
State of erbium (at STP)Solid
Period number of erbium in periodic table6
Block of erbium in periodic tablef-block
Category of erbiumInner transition metals
Bohr model or Electrons per shell or Electrons arrangement in erbium2, 8, 18, 30, 8, 2
Electron configuration of erbium[Xe] 4f12 6s2
Orbital diagram of erbiumorbital diagram of erbium
Electronegativity of erbium (on pauling scale)1.23
Atomic radius of erbium (van der Waals radius)216 picometers
Density of erbium9.06 g/cm3
1st ionization energy of erbium6.022 eV
Main isotope of erbium166Er
Melting point of erbium1802 K or 1529 °C or 2784 °F
Boiling point of erbium3141 K or 2868 °C or 5194 °F
Crystal structure of erbiumHexagonal Close Packed (HCP)
Discovery of erbiumBy Carl Gustaf Mosander in 1843

Also see: Interactive Periodic Table (It has rotating bohr models as well as many other details of all the 118 elements in a single periodic table).

Erbium element in Periodic table

The Erbium element (Er) has the atomic number 68 and is located in period 6. Erbium is a metal and it is classified as a lanthanide group element.

Click on above elements in the periodic table to see their information.

Facts about erbium

Here are a few interesting facts about erbium element.

  1. Erbium was given its name from the name of a small village “Ytterby”, which is in Sweden.
  2. The earth’s crust contains around 3 ppm (by weight) of erbium.
  3. Gadolinite and euxenite are the major ores of erbium from which the majority of erbium is extracted.
  4. Carl Gustaf Mosander discovered erbium in the year 1843.

Properties of erbium

Here is a list of some physical properties and chemical properties of erbium.

Physical properties of erbium

  • Erbium has a silvery white appearance.
  • The melting point and boiling point of erbium is 1802 K and 3141 K respectively.
  • There are many isotopes of erbium, and out of those isotopes the most abundant isotope is 166Er.
  • Erbium has a density of 9.06 g/cm3 and its atomic mass is 167.26 amu.
  • Erbium has HCP crystal structure.

Chemical properties of erbium

  • Erbium does not react easily with the atmospheric oxygen at room temperature.
  • Erbium shows a reaction with water.
  • It also gets dissolved in acids.
  • The most common oxidation state of erbium is 3+ and the salts of erbium appear light pink in color.

Uses of erbium

Here are some uses of the erbium element.

  • Erbium is used as a control rod in nuclear reactors, because it has a capacity to absorb neutrons.
  • Erbium is also  used in lasers to treat skin problems.
  • Erbium is a soft metal and it is added to other hard metals to reduce their hardness.
  • The oxides of erbium is used in glasses to give a pink tint.

External resources:

  1. James A. M. & Lord M. P. (1992). Macmillan’s chemical and physical data. Macmillan.
  2. Bedford, et al. (1996, April 1). Recommended values of temperature on the International Temperature Scale of 1990 for a selected set of secondary reference points. Metrologia, 33(2), 133–154.
  3. Allred, A. (1961, June). Electronegativity values from thermochemical data. Journal of Inorganic and Nuclear Chemistry, 17(3–4), 215–221.
  4. Atomic Data for Erbium (Er). (n.d.). Atomic Data for Erbium (Er).
  5. Erbium – Wikipedia. (2009, May 3). Erbium – Wikipedia.
  6. Erbium – Element information, properties and uses | Periodic Table. (n.d.). Erbium – Element Information, Properties and Uses | Periodic Table.
  7. P. (n.d.). Erbium | Er (Element) – PubChem. Erbium | Er (Element) – PubChem.
  8. It’s Elemental – The Element Erbium. (n.d.). It’s Elemental – the Element Erbium.
  9. Periodic Table of Elements: Los Alamos National Laboratory. (n.d.). Periodic Table of Elements: Los Alamos National Laboratory.
  10. Atomic Weight of Erbium | Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic Weights. (n.d.). Atomic Weight of Erbium | Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic Weights.
  11. Possolo, et al. (2018, January 4). Interpreting and propagating the uncertainty of the standard atomic weights (IUPAC Technical Report). Pure and Applied Chemistry, 90(2), 395–424.
  12. Emsley, J. (2011). Nature’s Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. United Kingdom: OUP Oxford.
  13. Haynes, W. M. (Ed.). (2014, June 4). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.
  14. Electronic structure of the elements. (2000, March). The European Physical Journal C, 15(1–4), 78–79.

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