Lutetium(III) oxide


Lutetium(III) oxide, a white solid, is a cubic compound of lutetium sometimes used in the preparation of specialty glasses. It is also called lutecia. It is a lanthanide oxide, also known as a rare earth.[2][3][4]

Lutetium(III) oxide
Lutetium(III) oxide
Other names
Lutetium oxide, Lutetium sesquioxide
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3D model (JSmol)
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  • [Lu+3].[O-2].[O-2].[Lu+3].[O-2]
Molar mass 397.932 g/mol
Melting point 2,490 °C (4,510 °F; 2,760 K)
Boiling point 3,980 °C (7,200 °F; 4,250 K)
Solubility in other solvents Insoluble
Band gap 5.5 eV[1]
Related compounds
Other anions
Lutetium(III) chloride
Other cations
Scandium(III) oxide
Yttrium(III) oxide
Supplementary data page
Lutetium(III) oxide (data page)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references


In 1879, Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac (1817–1894), a Swiss chemist, claimed to have discovered ytterbium, but he had found a mixture of elements. In 1907, a French chemist Georges Urbain (1872–1938) reported that ytterbium was a mixture of two new elements and was not a single element. Two other chemists, Carl Auer von Welsbach (1858–1929) and Charles James (1880–1926) also extracted Lutetium(III) oxide around the same time. All three scientists successfully separated Marignac's ytterbia into oxides of two elements which were eventually named ytterbium and lutetium). None of these chemists were able to isolate pure lutetium. James' separation was of very high quality, but Urbain and Auer von Welsbach published before him.[5][6]


Lutetium(III) oxide is an important raw material for laser crystals.[7] It also has specialized uses in ceramics, glass, phosphors, and lasers. Lutetium(III) oxide is used as a catalyst in cracking, alkylation, hydrogenation, and polymerization.[2] The band gap of lutetium oxide is 5.5 eV.[1]


  1. ^ a b Ordin, S. V.; Shelykh, A. I. (2010). "Optical and dielectric characteristics of the rare-earth metal oxide Lu2O3". Semiconductors. 44 (5): 558–563. Bibcode:2010Semic..44..558O. doi:10.1134/S1063782610050027. S2CID 101643906.
  2. ^ a b Lutetium Oxide. 1997-2007. Metall Rare Earth Limited.
  3. ^ Macintyre, J. E. (1992). Dictionary of Inorganic Compounds Volumes 1–3. London: Chapman & Hall.
  4. ^ Trotman-Dickenson, A. F. (1973). Comprehensive Inorganic Chemistry. Oxford: Pergamon.
  5. ^ "Separation of Rare Earth Elements by Charles James". National Historic Chemical Landmarks. American Chemical Society. Retrieved 2014-02-21.
  6. ^ Weeks, Mary Elvira (1956). The discovery of the elements (6th ed.). Easton, PA: Journal of Chemical Education.
  7. ^ Parsonage, Tina L.; Beecher, Stephen J.; Choudhary, Amol; Grant-Jacob, James A.; Hua, Ping; MacKenzie, Jacob I.; Shepherd, David P.; Eason, Robert W. (2015). "Pulsed laser deposited diode-pumped 7.4 W Yb:Lu2O3 planar waveguide laser" (PDF). Optics Express. 23 (25): 31691–7. Bibcode:2015OExpr..2331691P. doi:10.1364/oe.23.031691. PMID 26698962.