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Ytterbium is a chemical element with the symbol Yb and atomic number 70. A soft silvery metallic element, ytterbium is a rare earth of the lanthanide series and is found in the minerals gadolinite, monazite, and xenotime. The element is sometimes associated with yttrium or other related elements and is used in certain steels. Natural ytterbium is a mix of seven stable isotopes.


Name, Symbol, Number ytterbium, Yb, 70
Chemical series lanthanides
Group, Period, Block n/a, 6, f
Appearance silvery white
Standard atomic weight 173.04(3) g·mol-1
Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 8, 2
Physical properties
Phase solid
Density (near r.t.) 6.90 g·cm−3
Liquid density at m.p. 6.21 g·cm−3
Melting point 1097K
(824°C, 1515°F)
Boiling point 1469K
(1196°C, 2185°F)
Heat of fusion 7.66 kJ·mol-1
Heat of vaporization 159 kJ·mol-1
Heat capacity (25°C) 26.74 J·mol-1·K-1
Vapor pressure
P(Pa) 1 10 100 1 k 10 k 100 k
at T(K) 736 813 910 1047 (1266) (1465)
Atomic properties
Crystal structure cubic face centered
Oxidation states 2,3
(basic oxide)
Electronegativity  ? 1.1 (Pauling scale)
Ionization energies
1st: 603.4 kJ·mol-1
2nd: 1174.8 kJ·mol-1
3rd: 2417 kJ·mol-1
Atomic radius 175 pm
Atomic radius (calc.) 222 pm
Magnetic ordering no data
Electrical resistivity (r.t.) (β, poly)
0.250 µΩ·m
Thermal conductivity (300K) 38.5 W·m-1·K-1
Thermal expansion (r.t.) (β, poly)
26.3 µm/(m·K)
Speed of sound (thin rod) (20 °C) 1590 m/s
Young's modulus (β form) 23.9 GPa
Shear modulus (β form) 9.9 GPa
Bulk modulus (β form) 30.5 GPa
Poisson ratio (β form) 0.207
Vickers hardness 206 MPa
Brinell hardness 343 MPa
CAS registry number 7440-64-4


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