Lutetium is the last of the series of the lanthanide elements. It was isolated separately and independently by two chemists, Welsbach and Urbain, in 1907. Lutetium is derived from Lutetia which was the Roman name for the City of Paris.
Lutetium is the densest and hardest of the rare earths, lacks a magnetic moment, and has the highest melting point of the rare earths. These attributes may be due to the property of lanthanide contraction, which gives it the smallest atomic radius of the rare earths. It is truly a ‘rare' element and as such, is not widely used and expensive to obtain.
APPLICATIONS OF LUTETIUM
Electronics: A tiny amount of lutetium is added as a dopant to gadolinium gallium garnet (GGG) used in magnetic bubble memory devices for computers. It is also used in x-ray phosphors where it is combined with another rare metal, tantalum.
Medicine: Cerium-doped lutetium orthosilicate (Lu2SiO5:Ce), known as LSO, is a scintillator used mainly for Positron Emission Tomography. Research is being conducted with lutetium into possible uses for targeted radiotherapy for the development of new cancer therapies.
Energy: Lutetium is used as a catalyst in petroleum refining, hydrogenation and polymerisation processes, and in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Lutetium, when exposed to neutron activation, is used as a pure beta emitter.
|Lu Scintillator Crystals||Positron Emission