Periodic Table


Atomic number: 70
Atomic weight: 173.04
Symbol: Yb
Group number: (lanthanide)
Electronic configuration: [Xe].4f14.6s2


Ytterbium has a bright silvery lustre, is soft, malleable, and quite ductile. While the element is fairly stable, it should be kept in closed containers to protect it from air and moisture. Ytterbium is readily attacked and dissolved by mineral acids and reacts slowly with water.

General information

Discoveror: Jean de Marignac
Date discovered: 1878
Discovered at: Switzerland
Meaning of name: Named after the village of "Ytterby" near Vauxholm in Sweden

Physical data

Standard state: solid at 298 K
Colour: silvery white
Density of solid at ambient temperature/kg m-3: 6570
Molar volume/cm3: 24.84

Radii /pm

Atomic: 222
Covalent (single bond):
Pauling radius for the ion [Yb]-: no data

Valence shell orbital radius maxima (Rmax)
orbital s p d f
radius199.3no datano data25.4


Both values are quoted on the Pauling scale.

Pauling: no data
Allred Rochow: 1.06

Crystal Structure

structure: ccp (cubic close-packed)

The following CrystalMaker image represents the solid state structure. For most elements, the most stable allotrope is illustrated. Try WebElements version 2 for interactive virtual reality and CHIME images.


Temperatures (/K)

melting point: 1097
boiling point: 1469

Enthalpies /kJ mol-1

fusion: 7.66
vaporization: 159

single bond enthalpies:
Yb-F Yb-Cl Yb-Br Yb-I Yb-Yb
no data no data no data 251 20.5

Ionization enthalpies /kJ mol-1

Number Enthalpy


This section gives some data for naturally occurring isotopes.
Nominal mass Accurate mass % natural abundance
168Yb167.933894 (5)0.13 (1)
170Yb169.934759 (4)3.05 (6)
171Yb170.936323 (3)14.3 (2)
172Yb171.936378 (3)21.9 (3)
173Yb172.938208 (3)16.12 (21)
174Yb173.938859 (3)31.8 (4)
176Yb175.942564 (4)12.7 (2)

Further Information

Copyright 1997 Mark Winter
Department of Chemistry at the University of Sheffield, Sheffield S3 7HF, England.

The current version of this document is at http://www.shef.ac.uk/~chem/web-elements-I/Yb.html