DENSITY : 7.0 g/cm
MOST COMMON IONS : Nd 2+ , Nd 3+ , Nd 4+

Neodymium oxide was first isolated from a mixture of oxides called didymia. The element neodymium is the second most abundant lanthanide element in the igneous rocks of Earth's crust. Hydrated neodymium(III) salts are reddish and anhydrous neodymium compounds are blue. The compounds neodymium(III) chloride, bromide, iodide, nitrate, perchlorate, and acetate are very soluble; neodymium sulfate is somewhat soluble; the fluoride, hydroxide, oxide, carbonate, oxalate, and phosphate compounds are insoluble.

Neodymium is used to color special glasses, giving these glasses a blue-violet shade. It is also used to color television faceplates, to reduce the reflectivity of television screens. Nd 2 Fe 14 B magnets are among the most powerful. Neodymium compounds are used as laser materials, specifically as optically pulsed solid-state laser materials. One of the most important of these is Nd–YAG garnet (YAG = Y 3 A l5 O 12 ), which generates light having wavelengths of 1.06 micrometers (4.17 × 10 −5 inches). This garnet laser has potential use in dental caries prevention. Finally, neodymium is used in the making of photographic filters (Nd 2 O 3 ), magnets used in headphones, and ceramic capacitors.

SEE ALSO Cerium ; Dysprosium ; Erbium ; Europium ; Gadolinium ; Holmium ; Lanthanum ; Lutetium ; Praseodymium ; Promethium ; Samarium ; Terbium ; Ytterbium .

Lea B. Zinner

Geraldo Vicentini


American Chemical Society. Division of Chemical Education (2000) Chemistry Come Alive. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society.

Maestro, Patrick (1998). "From Properties to Industrial Applications." In Rare Earths, ed. R. S. Puche and P. Caro. Madrid: Editorial Complutense.

Weber, M. S. (1984). "Rare Earth Lasers." In Handbook on the Physics and Chemistry of Rare Earths, Vol. 4, ed. K. A. Gschneidner Jr. and L. R. Eyring. Amsterdam: North-Holland Physics Publishing.

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