Which element has the chemical symbol Lu?


Lutetium is the chemical element with the symbol Lu and the atomic number 71. In its pure state, it is a silver-white metal that resists corrosion well in dry air, but poorly in moist air. Lutetium is the last element in the lanthanide series and is traditionally a rare earth element.


Overview: General data on the lutetium


The Lu atom - and thus the chemical element lutetium - is clearly defined by the 71 positively charged protons in the atomic nucleus. The same number of electrons ensures electrical balance in the uncharged lutetium atom.

The nuclear building blocks of the neutrons ensure that there are differences between the atomic nuclei. These types of atoms are under the term Lutetium isotopes summarized (isotope data: see there).

The earthly lutetium deposits consist of a mixture of two Lu isotopes of different mass; the relative atomic mass of lutetium is given as 174.9668 (1) u.


Electron configuration

symbolOZshort form1s2s2p3s3p3d4s4p4d4f5s5p5d5f6s6p6d6f
Lu71[Xe] 4f14 5d1 6s22262610261062612


Ionization energies

The following table lists the binding energies or the ionization energies IE of the lutetium, i.e. the energy required in electron volts (eV) to separate a specific electron from a Lu atom.

1. IE: 5.42586 eV2. IE: 13.9 eV3. IE: 20.9596 eV4. IE: 45.25 eV5. IE: 66.8 eV6. IE: eV


Electron binding energy

The following table lists the electron binding energies of the individual lutetium electrons in the respective orbitals. The values ​​are given in electron volts (eV).









Further data


Spectral lines of the lutetium

The following figure shows an emission spectrum of the lutetium with the characteristic spectral lines in the visible wavelength range between 400 and 700 nm:



Chemical data


Standard potentials

Normal potential of the lutetium:

E.0 (V)NoxName Ox.Ox.e-Red.Name Red.Nox
-2,28+ IIILutetium (III) cationLu3++ 3 e-Lu (s)lutetium0


Material and physical properties of the lutetium

The following table lists some physical data and material properties of the pure metallic lutetium.



(General information without guarantee of correctness and completeness)


H228 - Flammable solid in powder form.

Source: Echa substance info 100.028.275.


[1] - Yu Zou, C. Froese Fischer:
Resonance Transition Energies and Oscillator Strengths in Lutetium and Lawrencium.
In: Physical Review Letters, 2002, DOI 10.1103 / PhysRevLett.88.183001.


External information offers

Group items - information

Lanthanoid separation
Extraction and separation of lanthanides. FH Münster - Format: PDF

General, separation, extraction, properties, 4f orbitals etc. Bielefeld University

Lecture materials: chemistry of metals. University of Freiburg

Discovery of the lanthanoids; Peculiarities of the lanthanoids; Electron configurations; Ion exchange process; Lanthanide contraction; Oxidation states; Use. University of Bayreuth

Individual connections

Lutetium and lutetium compounds
Chemical database: physical and chemical properties, safety data sheets, commercially available substances and compounds; various search criteria including structure search

Geochemistry and biogeochemistry

Minerals containing lutetium
Information on lutetium and the lutetium minerals. Minerals Atlas

Rare earth minerals
List and percentage composition of the individual rare earths contained in nature occurring minerals


Cluster complexes
Rare earth metals gadolinium and lutetium with endohedral transition metal atoms. University of Cologne


Category: Chemical elements

Updated on 26.02.2020.

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