|Name, Symbol, Number||lutetium, Lu, 71|
|Group, Period, Block||n/a, 6, d|
|Atomic mass||174.967(1) g/mol|
|Electron configuration||Xe 6s2 4f14 5d1|
|Electrons per shell||2, 8, 18, 32, 9, 2|
|Density (near r.t.)||9.841 g/cm³|
|Liquid density at m.p.||9.3 g/cm³|
|Melting point||1925 K
(1652 °C, 3006 °F)
|Boiling point||3675 K
(3402 °C, 6156 °F)
|Heat of fusion||ca. 22 kJ/mol|
|Heat of vaporization||414 kJ/mol|
|Heat capacity||(25 °C) 26.86 J/(mol·K)|
(weakly basic oxide)
|Electronegativity||1.27 (Pauling scale)|
|1st: 523.5 kJ/mol|
|2nd: 1340 kJ/mol|
|3rd: 2022.3 kJ/mol|
|Atomic radius||175 pm|
|Atomic radius (calc.)||217 pm|
|Covalent radius||160 pm|
|Magnetic ordering||no data|
|Electrical resistivity||(r.t.) (poly) 582 nΩ·m|
|Thermal conductivity||(300 K) 16.4 W/(m·K)|
|Thermal expansion||(r.t.) (poly) 9.9 µm/(m·K)|
|Speed of sound (thin rod)||(r.t.) 68.6 m/s|
|Shear modulus||27.2 GPa|
|Bulk modulus||47.6 GPa|
|Vickers hardness||1160 MPa|
|Brinell hardness||893 MPa|
|CAS registry number||7439-94-3|
Lutetium (chemical symbol Lu, atomic number 71) is a silvery white, metallic element that usually occurs in association with yttrium. It is the heaviest and hardest of the rare earth elements. It is sometimes used in metal alloys and as a catalyst in various processes.
Found with almost all other rare-earth metals but never by itself, lutetium is very difficult to separate from other elements. Consequently, it is also one of the most expensive metals, costing about six times as much per gram as gold.
The principal commercially viable ore of lutetium is the rare earth phosphate mineral monazite, which contains 0.003 percent of the element. Pure lutetium metal has only relatively recently been isolated and is very difficult to prepare (thus it is one of the most rare and expensive of the rare earth metals). It is separated from other rare earth elements by ion exchange and then obtained in the elemental form by reduction of anhydrous LuCl3 or LuF3 by either an alkali metal or alkaline earth metal.
Lutetium (Latin Lutetia meaning Paris) was independently discovered in 1907 by French scientist Georges Urbain and Austrian mineralogist Baron Carl Auer von Welsbach. Both men found lutetium as an impurity in the mineral ytterbia which was thought by Swiss chemist Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac (and most others) to consist entirely of the element ytterbium.
The separation of lutetium from Marignac's ytterbium was first described by Urbain and the naming honor therefore went to him. He chose the names neoytterbium (new ytterbium) and lutecium for the new element but neoytterbium was eventually reverted back to ytterbium and in 1949 the spelling of element 71 was changed to lutetium.
Welsbach proposed the names cassiopium for element 71 (after the constellation Cassiopeia) and albebaranium for the new name of ytterbium but these naming proposals were rejected (although many German scientists in the 1950s called the element 71 cassiopium).
A strict correlation between periodic table blocks and chemical series for neutral atoms would describe lutetium as a transition metal because it is in the d-block, but it is classified as a lanthanide according to IUPAC.
Naturally occurring lutetium is composed of one stable isotope Lu-175 (97.41 percent natural abundance). 33 radioisotopes have been characterized, with the most stable being Lu-176 with a half-life of 3.78 × 1010 years (2.59 percent natural abundance), Lu-174 with a half-life of 3.31 years, and Lu-173 with a half-life of 1.37 years. All of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lifes that are less than nine days, and the majority of these have half lifes that are less than a half an hour. This element also has 18 meta states, with the most stable being Lu-177m (t½ 160.4 days), Lu-174m (t½ 142 days) and Lu-178m (t½ 23.1 minutes).
The isotopes of lutetium range in atomic weight from 149.973 (Lu-150) to 183.961 (Lu-184). The primary decay mode before the most abundant stable isotope, Lu-175, is electron capture (with some alpha and positron emission), and the primary mode after is beta emission. The primary decay products before Lu-175 are element 70 (ytterbium) isotopes and the primary products after are element 72 (hafnium) isotopes.
As lutetium is very expensive to obtain in useful quantities, it has few commercial uses. Stable lutetium, however, can be used as a catalyst in petroleum cracking in refineries. It can also be used to catalyze reactions such as alkylation, hydrogenation, and polymerization.
Lutetium aluminum garnet has been proposed for use as a lens material in high refractive index immersion lithography.
Like other rare-earth metals lutetium is regarded as having a low toxicity rating but it and especially its compounds should be handled with care nonetheless. Metal dust of this element is a fire and explosion hazard. Lutetium plays no biological role in the human body but is thought to help stimulate metabolism.
All links retrieved August 22, 2014.
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