Europium | Descriptions, Properties, Uses & Facts

Europium | Descriptions, Properties, Uses & Facts

Illuminating the World: A Deep Dive into Europium and its Compounds


Europium, a fascinating chemical element with the symbol Eu, holds a unique place in the periodic table, capturing the attention of scientists and researchers alike. In this blog, we will explore the various aspects of europium, from its fundamental properties to its compounds and applications, with a special focus on europium nitrate and europium(III) chloride.

Basic Information:

Symbol (Eu): Europium

Atomic Number: 63

Atomic Mass: 151.96 u

Position in the Periodic Table: Europium belongs to the lanthanide series, specifically in period 6, between samarium and gadolinium.

Electron Configuration and Valency:

Europium has the electron configuration [Xe] 4f⁷ 6s² or 

1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d10 4p6 5s2 4d10 5p6 6s2 4f7, indicating that it has 63 electrons in total. The valency of europium can vary, with europium commonly exhibiting a +3 oxidation state in its compounds.

Chemical and Physical Properties:

Color: Silvery-white

Density: 5.264 g/cm³

Melting Point: 822 °C

Boiling Point: 1,527 °C

Magnetic Properties: Europium is known for its paramagnetic behavior, and it becomes ferromagnetic at very low temperatures.

Europium Compounds:

Europium forms a variety of compounds, showcasing its versatility in different chemical environments. Two notable examples include europium nitrate (Eu(NO₃)₃) and europium(III) chloride (EuCl₃).

Europium Nitrate (Eu(NO3₃)₃):

Europium nitrate is a compound where europium is in the +3 oxidation state. This salt is highly soluble in water and plays a crucial role in various applications, particularly in the field of luminescence.

Europium(III) Chloride (EuCl₃):

Another significant compound, europium(III) chloride, is a compound where europium is in the +3 oxidation state bonded to chlorine ions. This compound also exhibits interesting properties, contributing to its applications in diverse fields.

Chemical Reactions with Other Elements:

Europium engages in various chemical reactions, especially when exposed to oxygen and moisture. It readily forms europium oxide (Eu2O₃) when reacting with oxygen. Additionally, europium can form alloys with other metals, enhancing its utility in different industries.

Occurrence and Production:

Europium is not abundant in the Earth's crust, making up only a small fraction of rare earth elements. It is often found in combination with other rare earth elements, and its extraction involves complex processes due to the similarities between these elements.

Uses and Facts:

Europium is predominantly known for its use in phosphors, where europium-based compounds are employed to produce red and blue light in various electronic devices, including television screens and LED lights. Its unique luminescent properties make it an indispensable component in the field of optics and display technologies.


In conclusion, europium stands as a remarkable element, contributing significantly to the advancement of technology and scientific research. Its compounds, such as europium nitrate and europium(III) chloride, showcase the element's versatility and wide-ranging applications in our modern world. Whether illuminating screens or enhancing materials, europium continues to play a vital role in shaping the way we experience and interact with the world around us.

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