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   60    

60 Nd Neodymium

Lanthanoid, mass: 144.24 u, 5 stable isotopes (142, 143, 145, 146, 148), neodymium 144 and 150 also occur naturally and have very long half-lifes. Abundance rank (earth/space): 33/54

Click image to magnify. Ultrapure neodymium under argon, 5 grams. Original length of the large piece in cm: 1
Neodymium Piece of neodymium
Neodymium is one of the more abundant lanthanoids and has many different applications. It is often used as colorant for glass and ceramic, because its compounds, depending on concentration, can make a beautiful blue, green or red. Another important application is as active medium in Nd:YAG lasers. Nd2Fe14B, neodymium-iron-boron, known as neodymium magnet, is the strongest permanent magnet.

Nd Magnet Neodymium glass
Left: 28 nickel-plated neodymium magnet cubes, 0.5 cm edge length each.
Right: Blue neodymium glass bead, stained with neodymium oxide (Nd2O3). Diameter 1 cm.

Neodymium with oxidized surface Neodymium acetate
Left: On air, neodymium quickly forms a pink, non-protective oxide layer (here in two days at room temperature).
Right: Here I dissolved about 0.5 grams of neodymium in acetic acid, poured it onto a plate and waited for the acid to evaporate (don't try this at home, neodymium is toxic). The result probably is neodymium acetate. Nd3+-ions have a violet color, Nd4+-ions are blue-violet. I don't know where the brown comes from, but the original dissolution before the evaporation had this color.


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