Neodymium is a chemical element with the symbol Nd and 60 is atomic number . It belongs to the lanthanide series and is a rare-earth element. It is a hard, slightly malleable silvery metal that quickly tarnishes in air and moisture. When oxidized, It reacts quickly to produce pink, purple/blue and yellow compounds in the +2, +3 and +4 oxidation states. It was first discovered in 1885 by the Austrian chemist Carl Auer von Welsbach. It is not found naturally in metallic form or unmixed with other lanthanides, and it is usually refined for general use.
The color of neodymium compounds is due to the Nd3+ ion and is often a reddish-purple but it changes with the type of lighting, due to the interaction of the sharp light absorption bands of neodymium with ambient light enriched with the sharp visible emission bands of mercury, trivalent europium or terbium. Some neodymium-doped glasses are used in lasers that emit infrared with wavelengths between 1047 and 1062 nanometers. These have been used in extremely-high-power applications, such as experiments in inertial confinement fusion.
It is also used with various other substrate crystals, such as yttrium aluminium garnet in the Nd:YAG laser. This laser usually emits infrared at a wavelength of about 1064 nanometers. The Nd:YAG laser is one of the most commonly used solid-state lasers.
Physical properties of Neodymium
- It is a rare earth metal, It was present in the classical mischmetal at a concentration of about 18%. Metallic neodymium has a bright, silvery metallic luster, but as one of the more reactive lanthanide rare-earth metals
- It quickly oxidizes in ordinary air. The oxide layer that forms then peels off, exposing the metal to further oxidation. Thus, a centimeter-sized sample of neodymium completely oxidizes within a year.
- It commonly exists in two allotropic forms, with a transformation from a double hexagonal to a body-centered cubic structure taking place at about 863 °C.
- It is paramagnetic at room temperature, and becomes an antiferromagnet upon cooling to 20 K (−253.2 °C). In order to make the neodymium magnets it is alloyed with iron, which is a ferromagnet.