Lutetium (Lu)
Symbol Lu
Atomic Number 71
Atomic Mass 174.97 g.mol -1
Discovered by George Urbain in 1907

Chemical Properties of Lutetium

Group Lanthanides Melting point 1663°C, 3025°F, 1936 K
Period 6 Boiling point 3402°C, 6156°F, 3675 K
Block f Density (g cm−3) 9.84
Atomic number 71 Relative atomic mass 174.967  
State at 20°C Solid Key isotopes 175Lu
Electron configuration [Xe] 4f14 5d1 6S2 CAS number 7439-94-3
ChemSpider ID 22371 ChemSpider is a free chemical database

What is Lutetium?

  • Lutetium with atomic number 71 is never found as a pure metal in nature. This metal is artificially produced by the reduction process of LuCl3 by any of the alkaline metals. It appears as silvery and white in color. Lutetium is one of the hardest metals coming in the list of lanthanides. This metal is stable in nature. It also possesses high density as well as a high melting point. It burns at a temperature of about 150 °C forming its oxides.
  • This metal reacts with the lightest halogens forming tri-halides, which are soluble in water.

Applications of Lutetium

Lutetium is known to be used for commercial purposes as it is considered to be an expensive metal.

  • It is used in the manufacture of memory devices, especially for gadolinium gallium garnet as a dopant.
  • It is used as a catalyst in petroleum industries.
  • This metal is widely used in the processes of hydrogenation, polymerization, and alkylation.
  • It is used in the LED bulbs in the form of Phosphor.
  • In the medical field, it is more useful in the targeted therapies to cure tumors.

Certain Facts About Lutetium

  • Lutetium is considered to be one of the toxic metals. Hence inhalation of this compound is very dangerous as it might lead to fatal conditions.
  • When Lutetium is heated, it leads to a substantial explosion.
  • Contact with Lutetium can also cause some skin disorders.

Practise This Question

The bauxite ore of aluminium is concentrated by froth flotation