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The mineralogy of Ytterbium

General Properties
Atomic Number:70
Standard atomic weight (Ar):173.054(5)
Electron configuration:[Xe] 4f14 6s2
Ultrapure ytterbium
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):1.1
Atomic Radius:222 pm
Ionic Radius:102 pm (+2)
1st Ionization energy:603 kJ/mol
1st Electron affinity:-50 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:2,3
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:1092 K
Boiling Point:1469 K
Density:6.57 g/cm3
Main isotopes of Ytterbium
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
168Yb0.13%>1.3×1014yα ?164Er
β+β+ ?168Er
170Yb3.04%-α ?166Er
171Yb14.28%-α ?167Er
172Yb21.83%-α ?168Er
173Yb16.13%-α ?169Er
174Yb31.83%-α ?170Er
176Yb12.76%>1.6×1017yα ?172Er
β-β- ?176Hf
Main ions of Ytterbium
NameIonExample minerals
Other Information
Year Discovered:1878
Discovered By:
Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac
Year Isolated:1907
Isolated By:
Georges Urbain
Named For:
after Ytterby (Sweden), where it was mined
CPK color coding:#00BF38
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Sulfidesdiytterbium trisulphideYb2S3+3
Selenidesytterbium selenideYbSe+2
diytterbium triselenideYb2Se3+3
Telluridesytterbium tellurideYbTe+2
Fluoridesytterbium difluorideYbF2+2
ytterbium trifluorideYbF3+3
Chloridesytterbium dichlorideYbCl2+2
ytterbium trichlorideYbCl3+3
Bromidesytterbium tribromideYbBr3+3
Iodidesytterbium diiodideYbI2+2
ytterbium triiodideYbI3+3
Oxidesdiytterbium trioxideYb2O3+3
Phosphatesytterbium (III) phosphateYbPO4+3Xenotime-(Yb)
Mineral Diversity of Ytterbium
4. Oxides 1 valid mineral species
8. Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates1 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 2 valid mineral species
Total:4 valid species containing essential Ytterbium
Geochemistry of Ytterbium
Goldschmidt classification:Lithophile
Yb3+ was one of the ions least depleted from the mantle in the formation of the crust.
Yb3+ is enriched in Ca-Al-rich inclusions in meteorites relative to the composition of the solar system.
Yb3+ is concentrated in residual soils and sediments (less certainty.)
Elemental Abundance for Ytterbium
Crust (CRC Handbook)3.2 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)3.4 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)3.1 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)2.200 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Wänke)3.390 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Weaver)1.530 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)2.200 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Shaw)1.500 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)8.2 x 10-13mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)8.2 x 10-13mass per volume fraction, kg/L
The Sun (Kaye & Laby)3.4 x 10-7atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)2.5 x 10-7atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)2.479 x 10-7 (1.6%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Ytterbium in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Ytterbium and the other elements listed based on the official IMA formula. Note that unlike other sections on this page this includes non-essential elements.

The first data column contains the total number of minerals listed with Ytterbium and the element listed for that row.

The second data column lists this number as a percentage of all minerals listed with Ytterbium.

The final data column compares this percentage against the percentage of all minerals that contain the element listed in each row.

Click on a heading to sort.
ElementValid Minerals listed with element and Ytterbium% of Yb mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Oxygen14 minerals with Yb and O100.00%29.04% higher
Silicon8 minerals with Yb and Si57.14%108.99% higher
Yttrium8 minerals with Yb and Y57.14%2,372.53% higher
Hydrogen5 minerals with Yb and H35.71%33.92% lower
Beryllium3 minerals with Yb and Be21.43%896.16% higher
Phosphorus3 minerals with Yb and P21.43%88.93% higher
Niobium3 minerals with Yb and Nb21.43%648.67% higher
Aluminium1 mineral with Yb and Al7.14%63.27% lower
Calcium1 mineral with Yb and Ca7.14%69.79% lower
Iron1 mineral with Yb and Fe7.14%66.32% lower
Tantalum1 mineral with Yb and Ta7.14%518.13% higher
Thorium1 mineral with Yb and Th7.14%930.22% higher
Uranium1 mineral with Yb and U7.14%41.97% higher
Periodic Table
1H 2He
3Li 4Be 5B 6C 7N 8O 9F 10Ne
11Na 12Mg 13Al 14Si 15P 16S 17Cl 18Ar
19K 20Ca 21Sc 22Ti 23V 24Cr 25Mn 26Fe 27Co 28Ni 29Cu 30Zn 31Ga 32Ge 33As 34Se 35Br 36Kr
37Rb 38Sr 39Y 40Zr 41Nb 42Mo 43Tc 44Ru 45Rh 46Pd 47Ag 48Cd 49In 50Sn 51Sb 52Te 53I 54Xe
55Cs 56Ba 57La 72Hf 73Ta 74W 75Re 76Os 77Ir 78Pt 79Au 80Hg 81Tl 82Pb 83Bi 84Po 85At 86Rn
87Fr 88Ra 89Ac 104Rd 105Db 106Sg 107Bh 108Hs 109Mt 110Ds 111Rg 112Cn 113Nh 114Fl 115Mc 116Lv 117Ts 118Og
58Ce 59Pr 60Nd 61Pm 62Sm 63Eu 64Gd 65Tb 66Dy 67Ho 68Er 69Tm 70Yb 71Lu
90Th 91Pa 92U 93Np 94Pu 95Am 96Cm 97Bk 98Cf 99Es 100Fm 101Md 102No 103Lr
Default Categories CPK Electronegativity Atomic Radius Lowest Oxidation Highest Oxidation Crustal Abundance Goldschmidt Mineral Species Minerals with Yb Relative Frequency
Thulium << Ytterbium >> Lutetium

Most widespread minerals containing Ytterbium
This list of minerals containing Ytterbium is built from the locality database. This is based on the number of localities entered for mineral species and is therefore slanted towards minerals interesting to collectors with less coverage of common rock-forming-minerals so it does not give an undistorted distribution of Ytterbium mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities

Localities with greatest number of different Ytterbium mineral species
map should go here
2Ploskaya Mt, Western Keivy Massif, Keivy Mountains, Lovozersky District, Murmansk Oblast, Russia3 Yb minerals
3Tangen Feldspar Mine, Kragerø, Telemark, Norway1 Yb minerals
4Stetind pegmatite, Narvik, Nordland, Norway1 Yb minerals
5Shatford Lake pegmatite, Shatford Lake, Lac-du-Bonnet area, Manitoba, Canada1 Yb minerals
Cactus Jack pegmatite, Burnet Co., Texas, USA1 Yb minerals
7Håkonhals Quarry, Finnøya, Hamarøy, Nordland, Norway1 Yb minerals
8Little Patsy pegmatite (Patsy pegmatite), South Platte Pegmatite Mining District, Jefferson Co., Colorado, USA1 Yb minerals

Spotted a mistake/omission? - These pages are a work in progress, so please send all comments/corrections to Thank you.

Constants and physical property data from:

David R. Lide (ed.), CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 85th Edition. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida (2005).
Kaye and Laby Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants (2005). Section 3.1.3, Abundances of the elements
A. Earnshaw, N. Greenwood, Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, (1997)
Thomas J. Ahrens (ed.), Global Earth Physics : A Handbook of Physical Constants, American Geophysical Union (1995)
L.B. Railsback, An Earth Scientist's Periodic Table of the Elements and Their Ions : Geology 31:9 p737-740 (2003)
Emsley, J. Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. New York: Oxford University Press (2001)
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