Encyclopedia of Geochemistry

Living Edition
| Editors: William M. White


  • J. H. L. Voncken
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-39193-9_145-1

Element Data

Atomic Symbol: Y

Atomic Number: 39

Atomic Weight: 88.90585(2)

Isotopes and Abundances:89Y, 100 %

1 Atm Melting Point: 1522 °C

1 Atm Boiling Point: 3345 °C

Common Valences: 3+

Ionic Radii: 6-fold: 90 pm, 7-fold: 96 pm, 8-fold: 101.9, 9-fold 107.5

Pauling Electronegativity: 1.22

First Ionization Energy: 599.878 kJ

Chondritic (CI) Abundance: 1.57 ppm

Silicate Earth Abundance: 4.30 ppm

Crustal Abundance: 19 ppm

Seawater Abundance: ~9 ppt

Core Abundance: ~0


Yttrium is a transition metal with a silvery-white color. It has strong chemical similarities with the lanthanides, especially with the heavier ones (Gd–Lu). Therefore it is usually classified as a (heavy) rare earth metal . It is also always found combined with rare earth metals. The most prominent ore mineral is xenotime (YPO 4). Yttrium’s only stable isotope, 89Y, is also its only naturally occurring isotope. The metal is readily oxidized by air, which however forms a resistant oxide film on the surface of the...


Magnesium Alloy Rare Earth Metal Carbon Capture Yttrium Aluminium Garnet Yttrium Iron Garnet 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Emsley, J., 2011. Nature’s Building Blocks. An A-Z Guide of the Elements. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 617–620.Google Scholar
  2. Gadolin, J., 1794. Undersökning av en svart tong stenart ifran Ytterby stenbrott i Roslagen. Kungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademien, Handlingar, pp. 137–155.Google Scholar
  3. Gadolin, J., 1796. Von einer schwarzen, schweren Steinart aus Ytterby Steinbruch in Roslagen in Schweden, Crell’s Annalen, (also: “Chemische Annalen für die Freunde der Naturlehre, Arzneygelährtheit, Haushaltungskunst und Manufacturen,” or just “Chemische Annalen”), pp. 313–329. See for an online version: http://reader.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/fs1/object/display/bsb10072281_00321.html?contextType=ocr
  4. Hammond, C. R., 2016. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 96th Edition, 2015 – 2016. CRC Press (Electronic edition).Google Scholar
  5. Occupational Safety and Health Guideline for Yttrium & Compounds, 2016. http://web.archive.org/web/20130302060936/http:/www.osha.gov/SLTC/healthguidelines/yttriumandcompounds/recognition.html. Accessed 16 Mar 2016.
  6. Wikipedia, 2016a. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_W%C3%B6hler. Accessed 16 Mar 2016.
  7. Wikipedia, 2016b. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Spedding#Later_life. Accessed 16 Mar 2016.
  8. Wu, M. K., Ashburn, J. R., Torng, C. J., Hor, P. H., Meng, R. L., Gao, L., Huang, Z. J., Wang, Y. Q., and Chu, C. W., 1987. Superconductivity at 93 K in a new mixed-phase Y-Ba-Cu-O compound system at ambient pressure. Physical Review Letters, 58(9), 908–910.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geosciences and EngineeringDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands