Neodymium (Nd)

Stable isotopes of neodymium available from ISOFLEX

Isotope Z(p) N(n) Atomic Mass Natural Abundance Enrichment Level Chemical Form
Nd-142  60  82  141.907719 27.13%  >97.50% Oxide
Nd-143 60 83 142.909810 12.18% ≥79.00% Oxide
Nd-144 60 84 143.910083 23.80% >98.50% Oxide
Nd-145 60 85 144.912569 8.30% ≥94.00% Oxide
Nd-146 60 86 145.913113 17.19% ≥98.80% Oxide
Nd-148 60 88 147.916889 5.76% ≥97.40% Oxide
Nd-150  60  90  149.920887 5.64%  ≥97.60% Oxide

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Neodymium was discovered in 1885 by Carl F. Auer von Welsbach. Its name derives from the Greek phrase neos didymos, meaning “new twin.”

Neodymium is a silvery-white, soft, malleable metal that tarnishes easily. It liberates hydrogen from water and is soluble in dilute acids. It has a high electrical resistivity and is paramagnetic. It is readily cut and machined. It exists in two allotropic forms: an alpha hexagonal form, and a beta form that has body-centered cubic crystal structure. The alpha allotrope converts to beta modification at 868 ºC. Neodymium corrodes slowly in dry atmosphere at ambient temperatures; however, in moist air, the rate of oxidation is faster, forming a hydrated oxide. Neodymium combines with many nonmetallic elements — including hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus and sulfur — at elevated temperatures, forming their binary compounds. The metal dissolves in dilute mineral acids, but concentrated sulfuric acid has little action on it. Neodymium is a moderately strong reducing agent. It reduces several metal oxides — such as magnesia, alumina, silica and zirconia — at elevated temperatures, converting these oxides to their metals.

The pure metal has very little commercial application; however, neodymium in the form of alloys has found some important but limited applications in metallurgy. It is added to cast iron, magnesium, aluminum, zirconium and titanium alloys, imparting high-temperature strength and creep resistance to these alloys. It acts as a “getter” for oxygen, sulfur, hydrogen, nitrogen and other elements. Small quantities of neodymium salts are used as a coloring agent for glass and porcelain, imparting a red color.

Properties of Neodymium

Name Neodymium 
Symbol Nd 
Atomic number 60 
Atomic weight 144.24 
Standard state Solid at 298 °K 
CAS Registry ID 7440-00-8 
Group in periodic table N/A 
Group name Lanthanoid 
Period in periodic table 6 (Lanthanoid) 
Block in periodic table f-block 
Color Silvery white, yellowish tinge 
Classification Metallic 
Melting point 1024 °C
Boiling point 3068 °C
Vaporization point 3027 ºC
Thermal conductivity 16.5 W/(m·K) at 298.2 °K
Electrical resistivity 65 x 10-6 Ω·cm at 25 °C 
Electronegativity 1.2 
Specific heat 190 kJ/kg K 
Heat of vaporization 285 kJ·mol-1 at 3068 °C
Heat of fusion 7.1 kJ·mol-1
Density of liquid 6.89 g/cm3 at 1024 °C 
Density of solid 7.01 g/cm
Electron configuration [Xe]4f34d16s
Atomic volume 20.60 cm3/mol 
Most common oxidation state +3
Other oxidation state +2
Standard electrode potential  Nd3+: 0.995 Å 
Ionization potential 6.31 eV

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