Scandium (Sc)

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Scandium 21Sc44.955

Discovered 1879 by L.F. Nilson at Uppsala, Schweden.

[Latin, Scandia = Scandinavia]

French: scandium
German: Scandium
Italian: scandio
Spanish: escandio

Description: Scandium is a soft, silvery-white metal which tarnisches in air and burns easily, once ignited. It reacts with water to form hydrogen gas. There are only a few, rather specialised, uses for scandium such as in mercury vapour lights for high intensity lighting when a sunlight effect is required.


Further Materials properties


Crystal structure:

(cell dimensions/pm), space group, 
α-Sc h.c.p. (a=330.90, c=527.3), P63/mmc
β-Sc cubic, Im3m
T (α -> β) = 1223 K

X-ray diffractions mass absorption coefficients: CuKa 184 (µ/r) / cm2g-1
MoKa 21.1 (µ/r) / cm2g-1
Neutron scattering length: 1.23 b/10-12 cm
Thermal neutron capture cross-section: 27.2 sa / barns
Density: 2989 kg/m-3 [273 K]
Melting point: 1540.85°C / 1814°K
Boiling point: 2830.85°C / 3104°K
Molar volume: 15.04 cm3
Thermal conductivity: 15.04 [300 K] W m-1K-1
Coefficient of linear thermal expansion: 10.0 x 10-6 K-1
Electrical resistivity: 61.0 x 10-8 [295 K] Ωm
Mass magnetic susceptibility: +8.8 x 10-8(s) kg-1m3
Radi: Sc3+ 83; atomic 161; covalent 144
Electronegativity: 1.36 (Pauling); 1.20 (Allred); 3.34 eV (absolute)
Effective nuclear charge: 3.00 (Slater); 4.63 (Clementi); 6.06 (Froese-Fischer)
Number of Isotopes (incl. nuclear isomers): 15
Isotope mass range: 40 -> 51



Biological data


Biological role: None.
Toxic intake: n.a.
Lethal intake: LD50 (chloride, oral, mouse) = 4000 mg Kg-1
Hazards: Scandium is mildly toxic by ingestion, and scandium salts are suspect of being carcinogenic.
Level in humans
Blood: 0.008 mg dm-3
Bone: c. 0.001 ppm
Liver: 0.0004 - 0.0014 ppm
Muscle: n.a.
Daily dietary intake: c. 0.00005 mg 
Total mass of element in average
[70 kg] person:
c. 0.2 mg


Geological data


MineralFormulaDensityHardnessCrystal apperance
Thortveitite  (Sc,Y)2Si2O7 3.57  6 - 7  mon., greyish-green/black

Chief ores: thortveitite (rare); also present in euxenite and gadolinite; extracted from uranium mill trailings.
World production: 0.05 tonnes/year
Producing areas: Iceland, Norway, Malagasy (Madagascar)
Reserves: n.a.
Specimen: available as foil, powder and pieces. Care!


Sun: 1100 (relative to H = 1 x 1012)
Earth's crust: 16 ppm
Atlantic surface: 6.1 x 10-7 ppm
Atlantic deep: 8.8 x 10-7 ppm
Pacific surface: 3.5 x 10-7 ppm
Pacific deep: 7.9 x 10-7 ppm
Residence time: 5000 years
Classification: recycled
Oxidation state: III

  Source: Emsley, J. (1998) The Elements (3rd Edition)

Other sizes and specifications on request

Overview of elements with access to our shop

1 18
2 13 14 15 16 17
Li Be B C
Na Mg 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Al Si P S
K Ca Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Zn Ga Ge As Se
Rb Sr Y Zr Nb Mo
Ru Rh Pd Ag Cd In Sn Sb Te I
Cs Ba La Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg Tl Pb Bi
Ce Pr Nd
Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb Lu

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