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Samarium - Europium - Gadolinium
Name, Symbol, NumberEuropium, Eu, 63
Chemical series Lanthanides
Group, Period, Block_ [?], 6 , f
Density, Hardness 5244 kg/m3, no data
Appearance silvery white
Atomic properties
Atomic weight 151.964(1) amu
Atomic radius (calc.) 185 (231) pm
Covalent radius no data
van der Waals radius no data
Electron configuration [Xe]6s²4f7
e- 's per energy level2, 8, 18, 25, 8, 2
Oxidation states (Oxide) 3 (mildly basic)
Crystal structure Cubic body centered[?]
Physical properties
State of matter solid (__)
Melting point 1099 K (1519 °F)
Boiling point 1800 K (2781 °F)
Molar volume 28.97 ×10-3 m3/mol
Heat of vaporization 143.5 kJ/mol
Heat of fusion 9.21 kJ/mol
Vapor pressure 144 Pa at 1095 K
Velocity of sound no data
Electronegativity 1.2 (Pauling scale)
Specific heat capacity 180 J/(kg*K)
Electrical conductivity 1.12 106/m ohm
Thermal conductivity 13.9 W/(m*K)
1st ionization potential 547.1 kJ/mol
2nd ionization potential 1085 kJ/mol
3rd ionization potential 2404 kJ/mol
4th ionization potential 4120 kJ/mol
Most stable isotopes
isoNAhalf-life DMDE MeVDP
150Eu{syn.}36.9 a ε2.261150Sm
151Eu47.8%151Eu is stable with 88 neutrons
152Eu{syn.}13.516 aε1.874152Sm
153Eu52.2%153Eu is stable with 90 neutrons
SI units & STP are used except where noted.
Europium is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Eu and atomic number 63.

Table of contents

Notable characteristics

Europium is the most reactive of the rare earth elements; it quickly oxidizes in air, and resembles Calcium in its reaction with water. Like other rare earths (with the exception of Lanthanum, Europium ignites in air at about 150 to 180°. It is about as hard as lead and quite ductile.


There are no commercial applications for Europium metal, although it has been used to dope some types of plastics to make lasers. Due to its ability to absorb neutrons, it is also being studied for use in nuclear reactors. Europium Oxide (Eu2O3) is widely used as a red phosphor in television sets, and as an activator for Yttrium-based phosphors.


Europium was first found by Paul Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran in 1890, who obtained basic fraction from Samarium-Gadolinium concentrates which had spectral lines not accounted for by Samarium or Gadolinium; however, the discovery of Europium is generally credited to french chemist Eugène-Antole Demarçay[?], who suspected samples of the recently discovered element Samarium were contaminated with an unknown element in 1896 and who was able to isolate Europium in 1901.

Pure Europium metal was not isolated until recent years.

Biological role

Europium has no known biological role.


Europium is never found in nature as the free element; however, there are many minerals containing Europium, with the most important sources being bastnastite[?] and monazite. Europium has also been identified in the spectrums of the sun and certain stars.


Europium compounds include:


Naturally occurring Europium is composed of 2 stable isotopes, 151-Eu and 153-Eu, with 153-Eu being the most abundant (52.2% natural abundance). 35 radioisotopes have been characterized, with the most stable being 150-Eu with a half-life of 36.9 years, 152-Eu with a half-life of 13.516 years, and 154-Eu with a half-life of 8.593 years. All of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lifes that are less than 4.7612 years, and the majority of these have half lifes that are less than 12.2 seconds. This element also has 8 meta states, with the most stable being 150m-Eu (t½ 12.8 hours), 152m1-Eu (t½ 9.3116 hours) and 152m2-Eu (t½ 96 minutes).

The primary decay mode before the most abundant stable isotope, 153-Eu, is electron capture, and the primary mode after is beta minus decay. The primary decay products before 153-Eu are element Sm (Samarium) isotopes and the primary products after are element Gd (Gadolinium) isotopes.


All europium compounds should be regarded as highly toxic; the metal dust presents a fire and explosion hazard.

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