Atomic number: 66
Year discovered: 1866
Discovered by: Paul-Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran (1838-1912), a French chemist.
- A little dysprosium oxide was identified in 1886 by Paul-Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran as an impurity in erbia (erbium oxide), but the element itself was not isolated at that time.
- Boisbaudran, who had already isolated gallium and samarium, was working on a rare earth ore containing holmium when he discovered that it contained small amount of still another rare earth element, which he named “dysprosium”, from a Greek word meaning “hard to get at”.
- Neither the oxide nor the metal was available in relatively pure form until the 1950’s following the development of ion-exchange separation and metallographic reduction techniques.
- Its compounds have been used as catalysts in the oil refining industry, as compounds in some electronic equipment, and as phosphor activators.
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Information about other elements may be seen at this Chemical Elements List.
A special unit about words that include chemo-, chem- may be seen here.