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What is Europium

Belonging to the family of lanthanides, europium (pronounced as yoo-RO-pee-em) is a rare earth metal denoted by the chemical symbol Eu [1]. It has thirty isotopes with mass numbers ranging from 131 to 162 of which europium-151 and europium-153 are stable, occurring naturally [3].

Europium Symbol

Where is it Found

As the element does not occur freely in nature, it is found in minerals monazite and bastnasite [1]. It is mined in Australia, USA, India, Russia, and China [6].


Origin of its Name: It is named after the continent, Europe [1].

Who Discovered It: It was discovered by the French chemist, Eugène-Anatole Demarçay [1].

When and Where was Europium Discovered

In 1839 after the discovery of cerium, Carl Mosander isolated two new elements, lanthanum, and didymium where the latter contained a mixture of praseodymium and neodymium found later in 1879 by Karl Auer. After this, Paul-Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran separated another new element, samarium but found it be impure followed by Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac who extracted gadolinium in 1886. Finally, in 1901, Demarçay conducted a series of crystallizations of samarium magnesium nitrate to isolate another new element called europium [1].

Europium Metal

Europium Identification

Atomic number 63 [1]
CAS number 7440-53-1 [1]
Position in the periodic table [1] Group Period Block
Lanthanides 6 f

Location of Europium in the Periodic Table

Properties and Characteristics of Europium

General Properties

Relative atomic mass 151.964  [1]
Atomic mass 151.964 atomic mass units [5]

Physical Properties

Color/appearance Silver [1]
Melting point/freezing point 822°C (1521°F) [1]
Boiling point 1529°C (2784°F)  [1]
Density 5.24 g/cm3 [1]
Room temperature at normal phase (solid/liquid/gas) Solid [1]
Hardness (Vickers) 3.07 Mohs [5]
Electrical conductivity 1.6×106 S/m

Chemical Properties

Oxidation state/Oxidation number +2, +3[1]

Atomic Data of Europium (Element 63)

Valence electrons 3 [5]
Crystal Structure Body-centered cube lattice[5]
Quantum numbers [7]
– n 4
– ℓ 3
– m 3
– ms +1/2
Electron configuration (noble gas configuration) [Xe] 4f76s2 [1]
Atomic structure [3]
– Number of Electrons 63
– Number of Neutrons 90
– Number of Protons 63
Radius of atom
Atomic Radius 2.35 Å [1]
– Covalent Radius 1.83 Å [1]
Ionization energy [1]


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
547.109 1085.46 2404.41 4119.9

Europium Atomic Structure (Bohr Model)

What are the Uses of Europium

  • Europium-doped phosphors are used as fluorescent safety markers on Euro banknotes as they glow red under UV light and therefore help in detecting forgery [1, 2, 8].
  • It is used in making low-energy light bulbs to produce soft light like those in incandescent bulbs by maintaining a balance between blue (cold) light and mild red (warm) light [1, 9].
  • Europium-doped plastics make good laser materials and super-conducting alloys [1].


Europium Toxicity

The metal may have mild toxic effects, and therefore extreme precautionary measures should be taken while handling it.

Interesting Facts

  • The ability of europium to absorb neutrons might be useful in nuclear reactors in the future [2].
  • It is the most reactive among all the rare earth metals [2].

How Does Europium Cost

The price of the metal in its pure form may vary between $2300 and $2500 per kilogram.


  8. file:///C:/Users/LENOVO/Downloads/Europium-doped_phosphors_for_lighting_the_past_the.pdf

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