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Dysprosium [Dy]
CAS-ID: 7429-91-6
An: 66 N: 96
Am: 162.500 (1) g/mol
Group Name: Lanthanoids
Block: f-block  Period: 6 (lanthanoid)
State: solid at 298 K
Colour: silvery white Classification: Metallic
Boiling Point: 2840K (2567°C)
Melting Point: 1680K (1407°C)
Density: 8.540g/cm3
Discovery Information
Who: Paul emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran
When: 1886
Where: France
Name Origin
Greek: dysprositos (hard to get at).
 "Dysprosium" in different languages.
Dysprosium is never encountered as the free element. Usually found with erbium, holmium and other rare earths in some minerals (euxenite ((Y,Ca,Ce,U,Th)(Nb,Ta,Ti)2O6), fergusonite ((Ce,La,Nd)NbO4), gadolinite ((Ce,La,Nd,Y)2FeBe2Si2O10) and xenotime to name a few).
Around 100 tons are produced annually. Primary mining occurs in the USA, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka and Australia.
 Universe: 0.002 ppm (by weight)
 Sun: 0.002 ppm (by weight)
 Carbonaceous meteorite: 0.28 ppm
 Earth's Crust: 6 ppm
   Atlantic surface: 8 x 10-7 ppm
   Atlantic deep: 9.6 x 10-7 ppm
   Pacific surface: n/a ppm
   Pacific deep: n/a ppm
Dysprosium is used for manufacturing compact discs, and in conjunction with vanadium and other elements is used in making laser materials.
As control-rods for nuclear reactors because it readily absorbs neutrons.
Dysprosium was first identified in Paris in 1886 by French chemist Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran. However, the element itself was not isolated in relatively pure form until after the development of ion exchange and metallographic reduction techniques in the 1950s. The name dysprosium is derived from the Greek "dysprositos"; "hard to obtain". Part of the difficulty lay in dysprosium being especially close in its behavior to the far more abundant yttrium, during many of the separation technologies that were used in the 19th century. This overshadowed the fact that dysprosium was the most abundant of the heavy lanthanoids.
It is soft enough to be cut with a knife, and can be machined without sparking if overheating is avoided. Dysprosium's characteristics can be greatly affected even by small amounts of impurities.
It wasn't until the 1950s that the element was isolated in a relatively pure form. Dysprosium does not have any known biological properties.
As with the other lanthanoids, dysprosium compounds are of low to moderate toxicity, although their toxicity has not been investigated in detail.