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REE- Lanthanides





Atomic number



HREE (Heavy Rare Earth Elements)


terbium subgroup

Occurrence / Extraction

Present in bastnäsite and monazite. In trace amount in Gadolinite. Europium has also been identified in the spectra of the sun and certain stars.


Europium is utilized primarily for its unique luminescent behavior. Excitation of the Europium atom by absorption of ultra violet radiation can result in specific energy level transitions within the atom creating an emission of visible radiation.

Europium oxide phosphors are also used in printing postage stamps. These phosphors makes possible for machines to control stamp value.

In energy efficient fluorescent lighting, Europium provides not only the necessary red, but also the blue. Several commercial blue phosphors are based on Europium for color TV, computer screens and fluorescent lamps.

Its luminescence is also valuable in medical, surgical and biochemical applications. 

 Europium is a neutron adsorber,  so it is used in nuclear reactors control rods.


It is the most reactive of the lanthanide group: it tarnishes quickly in air at room temperature, burns at about 150 C to 180 C and reacts readly with water. Divalent europium in small amounts happens to be the activator of the bright blue fluorescence of some samples of the mineral fluorite (calcium difluoride).

Atomic mass:  151.96 g.mol -1
Electronegativity according to Pauling:  1.2
Density:  5.25 at 20°C
Melting point: 822 °C
Boiling point:  1597 °C
Named for the continent of Europe.

Relative abundance

Europium is not abundant in the Earth's surface. It is thought to occur at a concentration of no more than about one part per million. That makes it one of the least abundant of the rare earth elements.

atomic mass (g.mol -1)


density (g/cm3)


Oxydation number

+2 +3

Melting point (°C)


Boiling point (°C)


Magnetic moment


Abundance in the Earth's crust ( ppm)



Eugène-Anatole Demarçay  in 1896