Neodymium is a chemical element that has an atomic (Z) 60. Its average atomic mass is 144.24 g/mol. Neodymium is a rare earth element that belongs to the lanthanide series. It has a silvery-white colour which quickly tarnishes when exposing to air. It is an f-block element in period 6 of the periodic table. The electronic configuration of Neodymium is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 4d10 5s2 5p6 4f4 5d0 6s2. There are 60 electron and protons in an electrically neutral atom of Neodymium. There are 84 neutrons in neodymium. Its oxidation state is 0, +2, +3, +4 and its electronegativity is 1.14 (Pauling scale). The energy required for removing the first electron is 1st: 533.1 kJ/mol.
At STP Neodymium is in solid-state and has density of 7.01 g/cm3. Its melting point is 1297 K ?(1024 °C, ?1875 °F) and its boiling point is 3347 K ?(3074 °C, ?5565 °F).
Neodymium exists in two allotropic forms. Five stable isotopes are naturally occurring. Nd-142 is the most abundant isotope which has 27.2% abundance. It was discovered by Austrian chemist Carl Auer von Welsbach in 1885.
Neodymium is found in the mineral groups of monazite and bastnäsite. The main suppliers of neodymium are China and followed by Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, United States, and Australia. Neodymium is not rare at all. There is an average abundance of 38 mg/kg in Earth's crust.
Neodymium has a wide range of application. Neodymium is used in refrigerators which can reach up to cryogenic temperature. Neodymium has a large specific heat capacity at liquid helium temperatures.
Samarium–neodymium dating is used for the determination of the age of rocks and meteorites.
Neodymium is used in glass colouring which is used for different purposes. Neodymium is used in Didymium glasses. It is used in safety glasses for glass blowing and blacksmithing.
Neodymium is used in magnets. These are strong and permanent magnet, an alloy of iron, neodymium, and boron ( Nd2Fe14B). Neodymium magnets are used in microphones, headphones and computer hard disks etc.
Neodymium is used in strong lasers. It is also used in commercially used lasers like pointer laser. Neodymium-doped crystals produce high power infrared laser beam.
How are neodymium magnets made?
Neodymium magnets are an alloy made of iron, neodymium and boron. Generally known as NdFeB and NIB or Neo magnet. It is a permanent magnet and forms Nd2Fe14B tetragonal crystalline structure. There are two different processes for the production of neodymium.
Sintered magnet process:
In this process, raw materials are heated in a furnace. After heating, it is moulded into ingots. The ingot is heated, cut, shaped and magnetized.
Bonded magnet process or (Rapid solidification):
The NdFeB alloy is melt spin in a ribbon structure. The ribbon is then pulverized into particles and compressed into bonded magnets.
When was neodymium discovered?
It was discovered in 1885 in Vienna by Austrian chemist Carl Auer von Welsbach.