Scandium •Transition Metal

Primary XPS region: Sc2p
Overlapping regions: Ta4p3/2, Cd3d5/2, N1s, Ge LMM, Se LMM
Binding energies of common chemical states:

Chemical stateBinding energy Sc2p3/2 / eV
Sc metal398.5

ScO(OH) referenced to Sc2p metal peak. Sc2O3 referenced to adventitious C1s peak at 284.8eV

Experimental Information


Interpretation of XPS spectra

  • Sc2p peak has significantly split spin-orbit components (Δmetal=4.90eV).
    • Splitting Δ-value varies with chemical state. (e.g., Δoxide=4.3eV for Sc2O3).
    • For many elements, the FWHM for each spin-orbit component is the same, but for scandium, the Sc2p1/2 component is broader than the Sc2p3/2 peak.
  • Spectrum below has been assigned according to Ref [1].


[1] MC Biesinger et al., Applied Surface Science 257 (2010) 887-898.

crystal structureAbout This Element

Symbol: Sc
Date of Discovery: 1878
Name Origin: Latin Scandia
Appearance: silver
Discoverer: Lars Nilson
Obtained From: thortveitite, wiikite

Melting Point: 1814 K
Boiling Point: 3103 K
Density[kg/m3]: 2985
Molar Volume: 15.00 × 10-6 m3/mol
Protons/Electrons: 21
Neutrons: 24
Shell Structure: 2,8,9,2
Electron Configuration: [Ar]3d14s2
Oxidation State: 3
Crystal Structure: hexagonal

A rare transition element, scandium was discovered in 1878 by L. Nilson in Scandinavia. It occurs in only trace amounts on earth, though it is much more abundant in the sun and other stars. Although scandium can develop a slightly yellow or pink tinge upon exposure to air, it exists in its standard state as a soft, silvery white metal. Scandium’s high melting point and lightweight characteristics make it of interest to the aerospace industry and designers of sports equipment. Current applications of scandium include use in bicycle frames and in the pro- duction of high intensity light when combined with oxygen.

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