Dysprosium is a chemical element with the symbol Dy and atomic number 66. It is a silvery metal that is very slightly magnetic.
Dysprosium metal tarnishes slowly in air and burns readily to form dysprosium(III) oxide:
- 4 Dy + 3 O2 → 2 Dy2O3
Dysprosium metal will slowly react with water at room temperature to release hydrogen:
- 2 Dy + 6 H2O → 2 Dy(OH)3 + 3 H2
Dysprosium is a silvery lanthanide metal. It is soft enough to be scratched with a knife (though cutting it with a knife is time-consuming), and can be machined without sparking if overheating is avoided. Dysprosium and holmium have the highest magnetic strengths of the elements, especially at low temperatures. When cooled with liquid nitrogen, the metal turns ferromagnetic from its usual strong paramagnetic state.
Most dysprosium salts are highly paramagnetic. Some may even be fluorescent, though more research is needed.
Dysprosium is readily available from source such as Metallium and eBay. United Nuclear also sells metallic dysprosium, at 30 $/10g. It is not cheap, but it is less expensive than gold or other precious metals.
- Dysprosium nitrate
- Make yellow fluorescent salts
Dysprosium will react with water to produce hydrogen, which is flammable. Soluble dysprosium salts, such as dysprosium chloride and dysprosium nitrate, are mildly toxic when ingested. The insoluble salts, however, are non-toxic. Dysprosium fires require a class D fire extinguisher. Water may aggravate dysprosium fires or cause a hydrogen explosion.