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By Amy Wang, VI Form
Environmental Issues of Yttrium
Editors’ Note: To read Advanced Chemistry’s assignment sheet for Smartphone Chemistry and Ethics of Material Usage, click here.
Yttrium is a metal with atomic number 39, located in Group 3, Period 5, Block d. It is classified as both a rare earth element and a transition metal.
As a metal, pure Yttrium exhibits typical metallic properties, but the Y in smartphones is not in its pure form. It’s always contained in compounds.
Usage in a Generic Smartphone
Y is one of the rare earth elements (REE), a class of very special elements that all have unique properties. Y, in particular, is an integral part of a smartphone screen because it can make a compound that emits red luminescence. Since red is one of the three primary colors of light, Yttrium is widely used to make screens colorful. (more…)