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Atomic Number:60Atomic Symbol:Nd
Atomic Weight:144.24Electron Configuration:2-8-22-8-2
Shells:2,8,18,22,8,2Filling Orbital:4f4
Melting Point:1010oCBoiling Point:3127oC
Description:Silvery rare earth metal.
Uses:Used in ceramics to color glazes.


(Gr. neos, new, and didymos, twin)
  • In 1841, Mosander, extracted from cerite a new rose-colored oxide, which he believed contained a new element.
  • He named the element didymium, as it was an inseparable twin brother of lanthanum.
  • In 1885 von Welsbach separated didymium into two new elemental components, neodymia and praseodymia, by repeated fractionation of amonium didymium nitrate.
  • While the free metal is in misch metal, long known and used as a pyrophoric alloy for light flints, the element was not isolated in relatively pure form until 1925.
  • Neodymium is present in misch metal to the extent of about 18%.
  • It is present in the minerals monazite and bastnasite, which are principal sources of rare-earth metals.
  • The element may be obtained by separating neodymium salts from other rare eaths by ion-exchange or solvent extraction techniques, and by reducing anhydrous halides such as NdF3 with calcium metal. Other separation techniques are possible.


  • The metal has a bright silvery metallic luster, Neodymium is one of the more reactive rare-earth metals and quickly tarnishes in air, forming an oxide that spalls off and exposes metal to oxidation.
  • The metal, therefore, should be kept under light mineral oil or sealed in a plastic material.
  • Neodymium exists in two allotropic forms, with a transformation from a double hexagonal to a body-centered cubic structure taking place at 863C.


Natural neodymium is a mixture of seven stable isotopes. Fourteen other radioactive isotopes are recgnized.


  • Didymium, of which neodymium is a component, is used for coloring glass to make welder's goggles.
  • By itself, neodymium colors glass delicate shades ranging from pure violet through wine-red and warm gray.
  • Light transmitted through such glass shows unusually sharp absorption bands.
  • The glass has been used in astronomical work to produce sharp bands by which spectral lines may be calibrated.
  • Glass containing neodymium can be used as a laser material to produce coherent light.
  • Neodymium salts are also used as a colorant for enamels.


    The price of the metal is about $1/g.


    Neodymium has a low-to-moderate actue toxic rating. As with other rare earths, neodymium should be handled with care.

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