Erbium • Lanthanide Rare Earth

Primary XPS region: Er4d
Overlapping regions: Si2s plasmons
Binding energies of common chemical states:

Chemical stateBinding energy Er4d
Er metal167.5 eV
Er native oxide~170 eV

Native oxide charge referenced to adventitious C1s peak at 284.8eV

Experimental Information


Interpretation of XPS spectra

  • Er MNN Auger peaks between 50eV-700eV overlap many XPS regions from other elements.
  • Er4d region exhibits complex multiplet splitting.
    • Not straightforward to peak fit.
    • Erbium metal, for example, has at last 6 peaks in the Er4d region.

    General comments

    • Erbium is commonly used as an amplifier dopant for fibre optics in the telecomms industry.

crystal structureAbout This Element

Symbol: Er
Date of Discovery: 1842
Name Origin: Ytterby, Sweden
Appearance: grayish
Discoverer: Carl Gustof Mosander
Obtained From: xenotime, euxenite

Melting Point: 1770 K
Boiling Point: 3141 K
Density[kg/m3]: 9066
Molar Volume: 18.46 × 10-6 m3/mol
Protons/Electrons: 68
Neutrons: 99
Shell Structure: 2,8,18,30,8,2
Electron Configuration: [Xe]6s24f12
Oxidation State: 3
Crystal Structure: Hexagonal

Erbium, along with other rare elements, is in the mineral gadolinite from Ytterby in Sweden. It is used as a photographic filter and also as a neutron absorber in nuclear technology. Because of its oxide’s pink color, it is sometimes used as a glass and porcelain enamel glaze colorant yielding glass that is used in sunglasses and inexpensive jewelry. Metallic erbium’s dust presents a fire and explosion hazard. This element gives characteristic sharp absorption spectra in the near infrared, visible light and ultraviolet regions. Erbium plays no known biological role and is never found free in nature.

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