Thulium is soft silvery-white metal that relates to a group of lanthanides. It is rare-earth element of the 3 rd group of periodic system, where it is designated as Tm. Atomic number is 69. Atomic number is 168,9. It was invented in 1879 by Swedish scientist Per Teodor Cleve during exploration of additives to erbium oxide. Pure metal was obtained only 30 years later by Richardson, who measured its atomic weight. It has got its name in honor of north legend island Thule. Its content in earth crust constitutes 2,710-5%. The richest minerals are xenotime, euxenite, monazite.
Chemical and physical properties
Thulium has a specific weight of 9,318 g/cm³ and relates to hard lanthanides. It can be easily processed. Melting point constitutes about 1545 °C, and boiling temperature is 1947 °C. It can be easily dissolved in mineral acids.
Physical properties of Tm
|Atomic (molal) weight mole/h||168.9342|
|Heat conductivity K [V/m*K]||16.9|
|Molecular volume cm3/mole||18.1|
It is used in nuclear energetics, manufacture of special enamels that can absorb radiation. Thulium ions excite the infra-red radiation with wave length of 1.91 µm.They serve for manufacture of lasers with tunable signal. Thulium is a precious thermo-electric material. It is also utilized in magnetic data carriers. Isotope 170 Tm is used in X-ray package units and metallic defect detectors. There is developing an application of thulium in the capacity of fuel for nuclear piles. Thulium mono-telluride has a great electromotive force with high coefficient of useful action. It is a basis for thermal transducer and can regulate the characteristics of semi-conducting lead telluride. Along with other rare-earth element, thulium and its alloys are manufactured in the forms of wire, rod, sheet, foil.
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