Deutsch: Yttrium / Español: Itrio / Português: Ítrio / Français: Yttrium / Italiano: Ittrio

The term Yttrium (symbol Y) refers to an element with an atomic number of 39, and is generally classified as a rare earth metal. It is named after Ytterby, a village in Sweden where it was first discovered.

Yttrium is a soft, silvery metal that, in pure form and in bulk, is relatively stable in air. If finely divided, however, it can become very unstable. Shavings or turnings of Yttrium can ignite in air at temperatures exceeding 400 °C. It has no known biological role and its various compounds may range from mildy to highly toxic to humans and other animals.

Yttrium and its compounds and/or alloys have various uses. It is used as an additive in alloys, and to increase the strength of aluminum and magnesium alloys. It can also used as a catalyst for ethylene polymerization.

Yttrium can also be used in the production of synthetic garnets. These may be used as microwave filters for radar, as a transmitter and transducer for acoustic energy, as phospors to make white LEDs, and in lasers used for drilling into and cutting metal

Yttrium oxide is added to the material in camera lenses to make them heat- and shock-resistant, and can be used to make superconductors. Yttrium oxide sulfide can be used to produce red phosphors for CRT color televisions.

The radioactive isotope Yttrium-90 may be used in the treatment of various cancers, including lymphoma and leukemia, as well as bone, colorectal, ovarian and pancreatic cancers.

 

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