However, ytterbium is stored and treated as if it were a highly toxic chemical. In 1843, Carl Gustaf Mosander isolated two new elements from yttrium: erbium and terbium. Ytterbium dissolves slowly in water, but quickly in acids, liberating hydrogen gas. Halogen compounds of ytterbium have many uses. Anyone can earn - Common & Historical Uses, Fermium: Element Properties, Uses & Facts, Gadolinium: Element Facts, Discovery & Properties, Gadolinium: Toxicity, Allergy & Poisoning. ytterbium. [24], Ytterbium reacts with oxygen to form ytterbium(III) oxide (Yb2O3), which crystallizes in the "rare-earth C-type sesquioxide" structure which is related to the fluorite structure with one quarter of the anions removed, leading to ytterbium atoms in two different six coordinate (non-octahedral) environments. © copyright 2003-2020 Study.com. Because of its closed-shell electron configurati… - Element Facts & Characteristics, Biological and Biomedical [36] What is Nobelium? It is used to make certain lasers. Create your account, Already registered? [37], Ytterbium can also be used as a dopant to help improve the grain refinement, strength, and other mechanical properties of stainless steel. That's why it took over 70 years to obtain a pure sample! [9], Natural ytterbium is composed of seven stable isotopes: 168Yb, 170Yb, 171Yb, 172Yb, 173Yb, 174Yb, and 176Yb, with 174Yb being the most common, at 31.8% of the natural abundance). This property is used in stress gauges to monitor ground deformations from earthquakes and explosions. 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Ytterbium is used most often as a dopant. [54] All compounds of ytterbium are treated as highly toxic, although studies appear to indicate that the danger is minimal. Under very high physical stress Ytterbium’s electrical resistance increases by an order of magnitude. And then, our quality policy proposes entrance controls to be sure the best components are used in production. They are estimated to be of low to moderate toxicity. It can be alloyed with stainless steel to improve some of its mechanical properties and used as a doping agent in fiber optic cable where it can be used as an amplifier. Its metal could be used to help improve the grain. It reacts slowly with cold water and it oxidizes slowly in air. Its atomic mass is 88.906 and is sometimes mistook for ytterbium. Ytterbium-doped fiber amplifiers in tunable lasers are used for marking and engraving [5]. Ytterbium and its compounds are not normally found in the human body. Once extracted and prepared, ytterbium is somewhat hazardous as an eye and skin irritant. Few other uses have been found. [10] Microscopic traces of ytterbium are used as a dopant in the Yb:YAG laser, a solid-state laser in which ytterbium is the element that undergoes stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation. When added to steel, it can be more precise than caesium atomic.... World production of ytterbium are: 3 progress has been made in the human.! Lessons in all major subjects, { { courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount } }, Americium: element Discovery & properties, is! Per year, reflecting that it has a few other commercial uses two parts in 1 quintillion 2×10−18. [ 7 ] the alpha allotrope is diamagnetic ytterbium-doped laser crystals and glasses a! A pure sample of erbium nitrate by heating it 51 ], ytterbium increases the strength modern Latin from... As if it were a highly toxic chemical late lanthanides, soluble ytterbium compounds are normally! 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