Strontium Tungstate

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strontium tungstate (SrTW) is a white, odorless, soluble salt. It is also known as yttrium-strontium tungstate (YSrTW) or yttrium barium strontium tungstate (YBST). In its soluble form, it has the chemical formula SrTW(SO4)3. It is the most common yttrium-containing compound and is used as an ingredient in phosphors that produce red elements in cathode ray tubes (CRT) televisions and computer monitors, and as white phosphors for LEDs. It is also a component of some metal alloys. Its radioactive isotope, yttrium-90, is used in some cancer treatments.

It is found in the Earth’s crust only in trace amounts, and is one of the 10 least abundant elements. It is produced by the decay of uranium-235. In some periodic tables, it is classified as a transition metal; in others, it is placed with the actinides. Its most stable isotope, actinium-227, has a half-life of 22.6 years and decays by beta emission to thorium-227.

There was controversy over the discovery of element 107, with groups at the Gesellschaft fur Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, Germany, and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, both claiming credit. However, the American Chemical Society voted to award the name seaborgium to honor Glenn Seaborg, who died in 1995. The IUPAC ratified the name in 1997. Actinium is used in nuclear medicine as a radioactive tracer, since it emits gamma rays that can be detected by imaging equipment. It is produced in a machine called a technetium-99m generator, or “technetium cow”; water-soluble molybdenum-99 is adsorbed onto an alumina chromatography column and then is separated from the remaining solution by passing saline through the column (naturally referred to as “milking”). It is then mixed with a reagent specific to the type of imaging device that is to be used.