Dysprosium (Dy)

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Dysprosium 66Dy162.50

Discovered in 1886 by Paul-Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran at Paris, France.

[Greek: dysprositos = hard to obtain]
  French: dysprosium
  German: dysprosium
  Italian: disprosio
  Spanish: disprosio

Description: Dysprosium is a hard, silvery metal of the so-called rare earth group (more correctly termed the lanthanides). It is oxidised by oxygen, reacts rapidly with cold water, and dissolves in acids. Dysprosium is used in alloys for making magnets.

Dysprosium single crystal properties


State: Single crystal
Crystal structure: hexagonal
Production method: Floating zone
Standard size: diameter 7-8mm
thickness 1mm
Orientation: (0001)
Orientation accuracy: <2°, <1°, <0.4° or <0.1°
Polishing: as cut, one or two sides polished
Roughness of surface: <0.03 µm
Purity: 99.99%



Further Materials properties


Crystal structure: (cell dimensions/pm), space group,
Orthorombic (a=359.5, b=618.3, c=567.7), Cmcm
h.c.p. (a=359.03, c=564.75), P63/mmc
b.c.c. (a=398), Im3m
T(orthorhombic -> h.c.p.) = 86 K
high pressure form: (a=334, c=245), R3m
X-ray diffractions mass absorption coefficients: CuKa 286 (µ/r) / cm2g-1
MoKa 70.6 (µ/r) / cm2g-1
Neutron scattering length: 1.69 b/10-12 cm
Thermal neutron capture cross-section: 920 sa / barns
Density: 8.54 kg/m-3 [293 K]; 2390 [liquid at m.p.]
Melting point: 1411.85 °C / 1685 °K
Boiling point: 2561.85 °C / 2835 °K
Molar volume: 19.00 cm3
Thermal conductivity: 10.7 [300 K] Wm-1K-1
Coefficient of linear thermal expansion: 10.0 x 10-6 K-1
Electrical resistivity: 57.0x10-8 [293 K] Wm
Mass magnetic susceptibility: +8.00 x 10-6(s) kg-1m3
Young's modulus: 61.4 GPa
Rigidity modulus: 24.7 GPa
Bulk modulus: 40.5 GPa
Poisson's ratio: 0.247
Radi: Dy3+ 91; atomic 177; covalent 159
Electronegativity: 1.22 (Pauling); 1.10 (Allred); n.a. (absolute)
Effective nuclear charge: 2.85 (Slater); 8.34 (Clementi); 11.49 (Froese-Fischer)
Number of Isotopes (incl. nuclear isomers): 24
Isotope mass range: 147 -> 168



Biological data


Biological role: none
Toxicity low
Toxic intake: n.a.
Lethal intake: LD50 (Chloride, oral, mouse)=7650 mg kg-1
Hazards: Dysprosium is midly toxic by ingestion.
Level in humans  
Blood: 0.39 mg dm-3
Organs: n.a. but low
Daily dietary intake: n.a.
Total mass of element in average
[70 kg] person:


Geological data


Minerals:Many minerals are known, and aluminium is present in many other minerals
MineralFormulaDensityHardnessCrystal apperance
Bastnäsite  (Ce, La etc.) Co3F  4.9  4 - 4.5  hex., vit./greasy yellow
Monazite  (Ce, La, Nd, Th etc.) PO4  5.20  5 - 5.5  mon., waxy/vit., yellow-brown


Chief ore: monazite, bastnäsite
World production: c. 100 tonnes/year
Main mining areas: USA, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, Australia
Reserves: 1.5 x 105 tonnes
Specimen: available as chips, foil, ingots or powder. Safe.


Sun: 11.5 x 106 (relative to H = 1 x 1012)
Earth's crust: 6 ppm
Atlantic surface: 8 x 10-7 ppm
Atlantic deep: 9.6 x 10-7 ppm
Pacific surface: n.a.
Pacific deep: n.a.
Residence time: 300 years
Classification: recycled
Oxidation state: III

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

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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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