Yttrium, with the chemical symbol Y, was discovered in 1794 by the Finnish chemist Johan Gadolin. It belongs to the transition metals and is named after the village of Ytterby in Sweden, where several rare earth elements were first identified. Yttrium is present on Earth in small amounts and is often found in association with rare earths, particularly in monazite and xenotime minerals.
The applications of Yttrium are diverse. It is used in the manufacturing of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), in laser technology, and in ceramic production. Yttrium also stabilizes the crystal structure of aluminum oxide, enhancing the properties of high-temperature ceramics.
Future applications for Yttrium could focus on advanced technologies in energy storage and medicine. Researchers are exploring Yttrium compounds for use in high-performance batteries and cancer therapy.