Erbium is a silvery-white solid metal when artificially isolated, natural erbium is always found in chemical combination with other elements. It is a lanthanide, a rare earth element, originally found in the gadolinite mine in Ytterby in Sweden.
Protons and Neutrons in Erbium
Erbium is a chemical element with atomic number 68 which means there are 68 protons in its nucleus. Total number of protons in the nucleus is called the atomic number of the atom and is given the symbol Z. The total electrical charge of the nucleus is therefore +Ze, where e (elementary charge) equals to 1,602 x 10-19 coulombs.
The total number of neutrons in the nucleus of an atom is called the neutron number of the atom and is given the symbol N. Neutron number plus atomic number equals atomic mass number: N+Z=A. The difference between the neutron number and the atomic number is known as the neutron excess: D = N – Z = A – 2Z.
For stable elements, there is usually a variety of stable isotopes. Isotopes are nuclides that have the same atomic number and are therefore the same element, but differ in the number of neutrons. Mass numbers of typical isotopes of Erbium are 162, 164, 166-168, 170.
Main Isotopes of Erbium
Erbium occurs in 6 natural isotopes: 162Er, 164Er, 166Er, 167Er, 168Er and 170Er. 166Er is the most common isotope, having a natural abundance of approximately 33%.
Erbium-162 is composed of 68 protons, 94 neutrons, and 68 electrons.
Erbium-164 is composed of 68 protons, 96 neutrons, and 68 electrons.
Erbium-166 is composed of 68 protons, 98 neutrons, and 68 electrons.
Erbium-167 is composed of 68 protons, 99 neutrons, and 68 electrons.
Erbium-168 is composed of 68 protons, 100 neutrons, and 68 electrons.
Erbium-170 is composed of 68 protons, 102 neutrons, and 68 electrons.
Electrons and Electron Configuration
The number of electrons in an electrically-neutral atom is the same as the number of protons in the nucleus. Therefore, the number of electrons in neutral atom of Erbium is 68. Each electron is influenced by the electric fields produced by the positive nuclear charge and the other (Z – 1) negative electrons in the atom.
Since the number of electrons and their arrangement are responsible for the chemical behavior of atoms, the atomic number identifies the various chemical elements. The configuration of these electrons follows from the principles of quantum mechanics. The number of electrons in each element’s electron shells, particularly the outermost valence shell, is the primary factor in determining its chemical bonding behavior. In the periodic table, the elements are listed in order of increasing atomic number Z.
Electron configuration of Erbium is [Xe] 4f12 6s2.
Possible oxidation states are +3.
|Number of protons||68|
|Number of neutrons (typical isotopes)||162, 164, 166-168, 170|
|Number of electrons||68|
|Electron configuration||[Xe] 4f12 6s2|
Properties of other elements