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Author: Subject: Ytterbium(II) - easier than you think!
Brain&Force
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[*] posted on 26-9-2015 at 09:15
Ytterbium(II) - easier than you think!


I hadn't really done much aqueous ytterbium chemistry, and with my recent sulfamic acid purchase I decided to do exactly that. I took a small piece of ytterbium and added it to water, then added sulfamic acid to start the reaction. I was immediately greeted with the yellow-green color of ytterbium(II) ions and the smell of SO<sub>2</sub>. Previously I had done the same thing with samarium, which has a marginally stable 2+ state like ytterbium, but I did not find the blood-red color of the ion - though there was still plenty of SO<sub>2</sub> being generated. Dysprosium and holmium did not generate any SO<sub>2</sub>.

I shot a quick video of the ytterbium dissolving in sulfamic acid. The green color isn't as strong in person, interestingly enough. I've also experience weirdness with colors while photographing holmium sulfamate solutions.

<iframe sandbox width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BIVbGigSv-A" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Now that I've made an ytterbium(II) compound I have only one question: how do Istabilize and preserve it? Ytterbium(II) sulfate appears to be highly insoluble but I don't seem to have any sulfates on hand. Nor do I have any solvents which I know ytterbium(II) might reduce.

However, the fact that ytterbium(II) can be generated in situ might be interesting for any of you pursuing a powerful reducing agent, especially those of you doing organic chemistry. I'm reading up on whether this chemistry is similar enough to samarium(II) chemistry to replace it in some reactions.

[edit] I can confirm that, like most reduced ions, the ytterbium(II) is more stable in acidic solution. As the ytterbium dissolves the solution slowly turns clear.

Also, as it dissolved a brown powder formed, but as the solution became less acidic it appears to have redissolved. I suspect this might be a somewhat stable ytterbium(II) species that redissolves easily.

<blockquote class="imgur-embed-pub" lang="en" data-id="PwT8Wdi"><a href="//imgur.com/PwT8Wdi">View post on imgur.com</a></blockquote><script async src="//s.imgur.com/min/embed.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

[Edited on 26.9.2015 by Brain&Force]




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[*] posted on 26-9-2015 at 09:35


Go out, get some Epsom salt. Sulfates.



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Brain&Force
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[*] posted on 26-9-2015 at 10:33


Yeah, I likely will. I have some copper sulfate but I have a feeling ytterbium(II) will reduce it to copper(I). I might try that reaction at some point.



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[*] posted on 26-9-2015 at 12:32


Shake some coper sulphate solution with Zn or Mg to get a solution of their sulphate.
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