Dysprosium is a chemical element with the symbol Dy and atomic number 66. The metal was discovered by a French chemist Paul-Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran in the year 1886. This element with symbol Dy is abundantly found in nature and even found in many minerals such as gadolinite, xenotime, euxenite, fergusonite, blomstrandine and polycrase, which can also be called as sources of Dysprosium.
Properties of Dysprosium
- It appears as a silvery, lustrous and soft metal. Dysprosium is a rare earth element that has a metallic, bright silver luster. It is quite soft, and can be machined without sparking if overheating is avoided.
- Dysprosium’s physical characteristics can be greatly affected by even small amounts of impurities.
- At a low temperature below 85k, this metal exhibits high magnetic strengths and they tend to dissolve in concentrated acid solutions.
- This metal has about 29 isotopes of their mass numbers between 141 to 169. The number of naturally occurring isotopes for dysprosium is about seven in number and all are known to be stable isotopes.
Uses of Dy
- Dysprosium is used in controlling rods in reactors of nuclear power plant as they have the capability to absorb neutrons.
- Being a radioactive element, the metal finds useful applications in the field of radioactivity
- Since the magnetic susceptibility is high, it is used in the applications of data storage system.
- The metal bromide and iodide are used for high-intensity lamps.
- The salts of Dysprosium such as Aluminum Garnet, Iron Garnet are employed in the adiabatic refrigerators.