NMR properties:

Magnetogyric Ratio NMR frequency Natural abundance (NA) Nuclear spin (I) Quadrupole moment (Q) Reference sample
89 Y -1.3162810^7 rad/sT 4.9002MHz 100% 1.5

H2O / D2O

89 Y
39

(Ytterby, a village in Sweden near Vauxholm) Yttria, which is an earth containing yttrium, was
discovered by Gadolin in 1794. Ytterby is the site of a quarry which yielded many unusual minerals
containing rare earths and other elements. This small town, near Stockholm, bears the honor of giving
names to erbium, terbium, and ytterbium as well as yttrium.
In 1843 Mosander showed that yttira could be resolved into the oxides (or earths) of three elements. The
name yttria was reserved for the most basic one; the others were named erbia and terbia.
Sources
Yttrium occurs in nearly all of the rare-earth minerals. Analysis of lunar rock samples obtained during
the Apollo missions show a relatively high yttrium content.
It is recovered commercially from monazite sand, which contains about 3%, and from bastnasite, which
contains about 0.2%. Wohler obtained the impure element in 1828 by reduction of the anhydrous
chloride with potassium. The metal is now produced commercially by reduction of the fluoride with
calcium metal. It can also be prepared by other techniques.
Properties
Yttrium has a silver-metallic luster and is relatively stable in air. Turnings of the metal, however, ignite
in air if their temperature exceeds 400oC. Finely divided yttrium is very unstable in air.
Uses
Yttrium oxide is one of the most important compounds of yttrium and accounts for the largest use. It is
widely used in making YVO4 europium, and Y2O3 europium phosphors to give the red color in color
television tubes. Many hundreds of thousands of pounds are now used in this application.
Yttrium oxide also is used to produce yttrium-iron-garnets, which are very effective microwave filters.
Yttrium iron, aluminum, and gadolinium garnets, with formulas such as Y3Fe5O12 and Y3Al5O12, have
interesting magnetic properties. Yttrium iron garnet is also exceptionally efficient as both a transmitter
and transducer of acoustic energy. Yttrium aluminum garnet, with a hardness of 8.5, is also finding use
as a gemstone (simulated diamond).
Small amounts of yttrium (0.1 to 0.2%) can be used to reduce the grain size in chromium, molybdenum,
zirconium, and titanium, and to increase strength of aluminum and magnesium alloys.
Alloys with other useful properties can be obtained by using yttrium as an additive. The metal can be
used as a deoxidizer for vanadium and other nonferrous metals. The metal has a low cross section for
nuclear capture. 90Y, one of the isotopes of yttrium, exists in equilibrium with its parent 90Sr, a product
of nuclear explosions. Yttrium has been considered for use as a nodulizer for producing nodular cast iron,
in which the graphite forms compact nodules instead of the usual flakes. Such iron has increased
ductility.
Yttrium is also finding application in laser systems and as a catalyst for ethylene polymerization.
It also has potential use in ceramic and glass formulas, as the oxide has a high melting point and imparts
shock resistance and low expansion characteristics to glass.