Samarium is a chemical element with atomic number 62 and represented by the symbol Sm in the Periodic Table. It is a moderately hard silvery metal that slowly oxidizes in air. It was discovered by French chemist Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran in the year 1879.
Properties of Samarium
- It is a silvery-white, rare earth metal having physical properties like hardness, similar to zinc.
- It is one of the most volatile elements among the lanthanides.
- Sm and its compounds are paramagnetic at room temperature.
- It is the 40th most abundant element in earth’s crust and 5th most abundant element among Lanthanides.
- With the boiling point of 1794 °C, Sm is the third most volatile lanthanide after ytterbium and europium; this property facilitates the separation of samarium from the mineral ore.
- This element is most abundant in China, India, Brazil, the US, Australia, and Sri Lanka and yearly production is estimated at 2 million tonnes.
- Individual Sm atoms can be isolated by encapsulating them into fullerene molecules.
|Melting point||1,074 °C (1,965 °F)|
|Boiling point||1,794 °C (3,261 °F)|
|Density||7.520 g/cm3 (24 °C, or 75 °F)|
|Oxidation states||+2, +3|
|Electron configuration||[Xe]4f 66s2|
Uses of Samarium
- The most important application of Samarium is Samarium-Cobalt magnets which have a very high permanent magnetization. These magnets are used in headphones, small motors, and musical instruments like guitars.
- This element is used in the manufacture of solar-powered electric aircraft.
- It is used in making special infrared absorbing glass and cores of carbon arc lamp electrodes.
- Acts as a catalyst in the ethanol dehydration process. It is also used in making new permanent magnets.