Yttrium oxide, also known as yttria, is Y2O3. It is an air-stable, white solid substance. Yttrium oxide is used as a common starting material for both materials science as well as inorganic compounds.
It is the most important yttrium compound and is widely used to make Eu:YVO4 and Eu:Y2O3 phosphors that give the red color in color TV picture tubes. Yttrium oxide is also used to make yttrium iron garnets, which are very effective microwave filters.
Y2O3 is used to make the high temperature superconductor YBa2Cu3O7, known as "1-2-3" to indicate the ratio of the metal constituents:
2 Y2O3 + 8 BaO + 12 CuO + O2 → 4 YBa2Cu3O7
This synthesis is typically conducted at 800 °C.
The thermal conductivity of yttrium oxide is 27 W/(m·K). Inorganic synthesis
Yttrium oxide is an important starting point for inorganic compounds. For organometallic chemistry it is converted to YCl3 in a reaction with concentrated hydrochloric acid and ammonium chloride. Lasers
Y2O3 is a prospective solid-state laser material. In particular, lasers with ytterbium as dopant allow the efficient operation both in continuous operation and in pulsed regimes. At high concentration of excitations (of order of 1%) and poor cooling, the quenching of emission at laser frequency and avalanche broadband emission takes place.
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