Scandium Chemical Properties (25 Facts You Should Know)

Sc or Scandium is the transition metal element of the d block element having a partially filled 3d orbital.  Let us explain about Scandium in detail.

Scandium has chemical and physical properties most closely resemble its heavier transition metal congeners. It is present in most uranium compounds and it is also a rare earth metal like lanthanides. It is soft and occurs in Scandinavia and appears in silvery color.

It changes slightly yellowish or pinkish when exposed to air. Scandium burns easily when it will be ignited. It reacts with water to form hydrogen gas and will dissolve in many acids. Now we will discuss the basic chemical properties of Scandium with a proper explanation in the following article.

1. Scandium symbol

To express the element by using one or two letters of the English or Latin alphabet of the chemical name. Let us predict the atomic symbol of Scandium.

“Sc” is the atomic symbol of Scandium as the name of the element starts with the S letter in the English alphabet but the letter S is already taken for the group 16th Sulfur element, so we use the first two letters of the spelling Scandium like “Sc” instead of the first letter to distinguish the element.

Scandium Atomic Symbol

2. Scandium group in the periodic table

Vertical lines or columns of the periodic table are referred to as a respective group of the periodic table. Let us predict the group of Scandium in the periodic table.

Sc is placed in the 3rd vertical series of the periodic table by its atomic number by Mendeleev. So, it is 3rd group element, or in the modern periodic table it is placed in group IIB, and it is distinguished on the precipitation table.

3. Scandium period in the periodic table

A horizontal line or row of the periodic table where every element is placed by its last principle quantum number is called a period. Now predict the period of the Scandium.

Sc is placed in the 4th period as it contains more than 18 electrons, which are placed in the above 3rd period, so the remaining three electrons, it is placed in the 4th period, which is in the transition element period of the periodic table. As 4th period consists of transition series of 10 elements.

4. Scandium block in the periodic table

The orbital where the valence electrons of the element are present is called the block of the periodic table. Let us predict the block of the Scandium.

Scandium belongs to the d block element as the valence electrons are present in its 3d orbital, as it is a transition metal like iron. It contains s, p, and d orbitals also but the outermost orbital for Sc is d of 3 principle quantum number, so it is a d-block element.

5. Scandium atomic number

The value of Z is known as the atomic number, actually, the total number of electrons is called the atomic number. Let us find the atomic numbers of Scandium.

The total atomic number of Scandium is 21 which means it has 21 electrons and protons because we know the number of protons is always equal to the number of electrons and for this reason, they become neutral due to the neutralization of equal and opposite charges.

6. Scandium Atomic Weight

The mass of the element is called weight which is measured with respect to some standard value. Let us calculate the atomic weight of Scandium.

The atomic weight of Scandium is 44 on the 12C scale, which means the atomic weight of carbon is 44/12th part. But the actual value is 44.95, which is the average value of different isotopes of Scandium.

7. Scandium Electronegativity according to Pauling

Pauling electronegativity is the power to attract any other element for that particular atom. Let us predict the electronegativity of Scandium.

The Pauling electronegativity is 1.36 for the Sc, which means it is more electropositive and less electronegative as its value is greater than 1. So, it has less ability to attract any other element like other transition elements and form highly positively charged cations.

8. Scandium atomic Density

The number of atoms presents per unit volume of any atom is called the atomic density of that respective element. Let us calculate the atomic density of Scandium.

The atomic density of Scandium is 2.98 g/cm3 which means the weight of atoms per unit volume of Sc is calculated to be 2.98. the atomic weight is divided by the standard volume value of the element by Avagardo’s value of 22.4 L at STP.

  • Atomic density = atomic mass / atomic volume is the basic formula for the calculation of density
  • The atomic mass or weight of the Scandium atom is 44.95 g which is established
  • The volume of the Scandium molecule is 22.4 liter at STP as per Avogardo’s calculation 
  • So, the atomic density of the Scandium atom is, 44.95/(22.4) = 2.006  g/cm3

9. Scandium melting point

Changing to a liquid state from its solid state at a particular temperature is called the melting point of that particular element. Let us find the melting point of the Scandium atom.

The melting point of the Scandium atom is 15410 C or 1814K temperature because Sc has a hexagonal close-packed lattice in the crystal form when it exists in a solid state and needs greater energy to break that crystal, so it has a higher melting point like other transition metal..

10. Scandium boiling point

Where the vapor pressure of an element becomes equal to its atmospheric pressure is called the boiling point. Let us find the boiling point of Scandium.

The boiling point of the Scandium atom is 28360 C or 3109K because it has a higher melting point, so it needs more energy than the melting point for boiling. If the element does not exist in liquid form then it cannot be boiled off. Also, it is a metal element so it needs more energy for its gaseous state.

The van der Waal’s force of attraction and London dispersion force is very high for Sc, so it needs more energy to boil in the liquid phase. Metals are closely packed and for this reason, more energy will be needed for melting or boiling.

11. Scandium Van der Waals radius?

Van der Waal’s radius is the distance between the center of two atomic spheres attached together. Let us find van der Waal’s radius of Scandium.

The Van der Waal’s radius for Sc is 230 pm as it contains a 3d orbital and the 3d orbital has a shielding effect on the nucleus to outermost electrons. So, it has a greater nucleus attraction towards the outermost shell and the radius will decrease because 3d orbital is subject to poor shielding effect.

  • Van der Waal’s radius is calculated by the mathematical formula considering the distance between two atoms, where atoms are the sphere in shape.
  • Van der Waal’s radius is, Rv = dA-A / 2
  • Where RV stands for Van Waal’s radius of the molecule of spherical shape
  • dA-A is the distance between two adjacent spheres of the atomic molecule or summation of sue radius of two atomic

12. Scandium ionic radius

The summation of the cation and anion is called the ionic radius of the element. Let us find the ionic radius of Scandium.

The ionic radius of Sc is the same as van der Waal’s radius is 230 pm, because in the ionic form it has the same ionic value.

13. Scandium isotopes

Elements having the same number of electrons but different mass numbers are called isotopes of the original element. Let us discuss the isotopes of Scandium.

Scandium has 35 isotopes based on their neutron numbers which are listed below

  • 39Sc
  • 40Sc
  • 41Sc
  • 42Sc
  • 42mSc
  • 43Sc
  • 43m1Sc
  • 43m2Sc
  • 44Sc
  • 44m1Sc
  • 44m2Sc
  • 44m3Sc
  • 45Sc
  • 45mSc
  • 46Sc
  • 46m1Sc
  • 46m2Sc
  • 47Sc
  • 47mSc
  • 47Sc
  • 49Sc
  • 50Sc
  • 50mSc
  • 51Sc
  • 52Sc
  • 53Sc
  • 54Sc
  • 54mSc
  • 55Sc
  • 56Sc
  • 57Sc
  • 58Sc
  • 59Sc
  • 60Sc
  • 61Sc

Here only stable isotopes are discussed below among those isotopes in the below section.

No. of
44m2Sc  synthetic58.61
€, γ23
45Sc  100%stableN/A24
Β, γ25
Β, γ26
Β, γ27
Isotopes of Scandium

Only five isotopes are stable of Sc among all isotopes, so they also emit any radioactive particles. 45Sc is a naturally occurring isotope of Scandium among all and the rest of them are synthetically prepared.

14. Scandium electronic shell

The shell surrounding the nucleus as per principal quantum number and holding the electrons are called an electronic shell. Let us discuss the electronic shell of Scandium.

The number of electronic shells of Scandium around the nucleus is s, p, and d orbitals. Because it has more than 18 electrons and to arrange 21 electrons need 1s,2s,2p, 3s, 3p, 3d, and 4s orbitals. So, the electronic shell distribution of Scandium is 2 2 6 2 6 2 1.

15. Scandium electron configurations

According to Hund’s rule electrons are distributed to the respective orbitals which are known as electronic configurations. Let us discuss the electronic configuration of Scandium.

According to Hund’s rule and the Aufbau principle, the exact electronic configuration of Sc is 1s22s22p63s23p6 3d14s2 as it has 21 electrons. To fill all the 21 electrons according above two rules we need those electrons to need s, p, and d orbitals having the 1st,2nd, 3rd, and4th orbitals.

  • Due to exchange energy electrons enter first in 4s orbital then 3d.
  • Where the first number stands for the principal quantum number
  • The letter is for orbital and the suffix number is the number of electrons.
  • But many elements have more principal quantum numbers depending on the number of electrons.
  • Ar has 18 electrons, so the remaining electrons are present after the noble gas configuration.
  • So, it is denoted as [Ar]4s23d1.

16. Scandium energy of first ionization

The energy is required for the removal of the electrons from the valence orbital from its zero-oxidation state. Let us predict the first ionization of Scandium.

The first ionization value for Sc is 633.1 KJ/mol because the electron was removed from the filled 4s orbital and the 4s orbital is subject to a lower shielding effect, so the energy required to remove an electron from 4s is lesser than the other orbital of Sc. As per exchange energy electrons are also removed from the 4s orbital first.

For another element, the electrons are removed from p, d, or f orbitals depending on their electronic configuration and the last valence orbital.

17. Scandium energy of second ionization

The energy is required for the removal of one electron from the available orbital from the +1 oxidation state. Let us see the second ionization of Scandium.

The 2nd ionization energy required for this process is 1235 KJ/mol which occurred for Sc from its 4s orbital, where the remaining electrons after 1st ionization will be removed. So, when an electron is removed excited state it required higher energy than the previous one.

Generally, 2nd ionization energy is greater than 1st ionization energy because it occurs from a more excited state or inner orbital.

18. Scandium energy of third ionization

Removal of third electrons from the outermost or pre-ultimate orbital of an element having a +2 oxidation state. Let us predict the third ionization of Scandium.

The third ionization energy for Sc is 2388.6 KJ/mol because the third ionization occurs from the partially filled 3d orbital. Due to the poor shielding effect and exchange energy of 3d, the attraction for the nucleus on the outermost electron will be very high and require a higher amount of energy to remove electrons.

For any transition metal, the third ionization energy is abnormally higher than the previous one.

19. Scandium oxidation states

During bond formation, the charge that appears on the element is called the oxidation state. Let us predict the oxidation state of Scandium.

+1, +2, +3 or even 0 oxidation states are available for Sc. Due to the exchange energy 4s behave as a valence shell and the removal of two electrons is easy due to the shielding effect removal of one electron from 3d is also favorable.

20. Scandium CAS number

CAS number or CAS registration for any element to identify the element which is unique. Let us know the CAS number of Scandium.

The CAS number of the Scandium is 7440-20-2 which is given by the chemical abstracts service. Which is different from the CAS number of the other element.

The CAS number of Sc is unique and not matching with the other element’s CAS number.

21. Scandium Chem Spider ID

Chem Spider ID is the particular number for a particular element given by the Royal Society of Science to identify by their character. Let us discuss it for Scandium.

22392 is the Chem Spider ID for Scandium which is given by the RSC (royal society of chemistry). By using this number we can evaluate all the chemical data related to the Scandium atom. Like the CAS number, it is also different for all elements.

22. Scandium allotropic forms

Allotropes are the same chemical property but differ in physical properties. Let us discuss the allotropic form of Scandium.

Sc has no allotropic form like other transition metals because they cannot show the catenation property like carbon elements.

23. Scandium chemical classification

Chemical classification is the classified the element by its reactive nature or they cause hazards to the human body. Let us know the chemical classification of Scandium.

Scandium is classified into the following categories,

  • Sc is a transition element
  • Sc is also classified as rare earth metal
  • Sc classified as reactive based on the reaction tendency
  • Sc is more ductile and carry electricity as per electrical conductance.

24. Scandium state at room temperature

Which state an element can exist at room temperature and standard pressure is called the physical state of that particular atom. Let us predict the state of Scandium at room temperature.

Scandium exists in a solid state at room temperature because it has a crystal lattice that it adopts in the hexagonal structure, where van der Waal’s force of attraction is so high. Also, the layers are present over one another, so it is soft in nature.

25. Is Scandium paramagnetic?

The tendency of magnetization in the direction of the magnetic field. Let us see whether Scandium is paramagnetic or not.

Scandium is paramagnetic in nature due to the presence of one unpaired electron in the valence or outermost 3d orbital and the magnetic value will be 1.732 B.M. which is a spin-only magnetic value. It has a molar magnetic susceptibility value of +315.0×10−6 cm3/mol.


Sc is a 3d transition metal element, due to the presence of one unpaired electron it is subject to Jann-Teller elongation in its geometry. It can form many organometallic compounds and due to lower d electron it can bind with hard ligand which can be sigma donor as well as π donor.

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