Gadolinium

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Animated Gadolinium

History

From gadolinite, a mineral named for Gadolin, a Finnish chemist. The rare earth metal is obtained from the mineral gadolinite. Gadolinia, the oxide of gadolinium, was separated by Marignac in 1880 and Lecoq de Boisbaudran independently isolated it from Mosander's yttria in 1886.

Sources

Gadolinium is found in several other minerals, including monazite and bastnasite, both of which are commercially important. With the development of ion-exchange and solvent extraction techniques, the availability and prices of gadolinium and the other rare-earth metals have greatly improved. The metal can be prepared by the reduction of the anhydrous fluoride with metallic calcium.

Uses

Gadolinium yttrium garnets are used in microwave applications and gadolinium compounds are used as phosphors in color television sets.

The metal has unusual superconductive properties. As little as 1 percent gadolinium improves the workability and resistance of iron, chromium, and related alloys to high temperatures and oxidation.

Gadolinium ethyl sulfate has extremely low noise characteristics and may find use in duplicating the performance of amplifiers, such as the maser.

The metal is ferromagnetic. Gadolinium is unique for its high magnetic movement and for its special Curie temperature (above which ferromagnetism vanishes) lying just at room temperature, meaning it could be used as a magnetic component that can sense hot and cold.

Isotopes

Natural gadolinium is a mixture of seven isotopes, but 17 isotopes of gadolinium are now recognized. Although two of these, 155Gd and 157Gd, have excellent capture characteristics, they are only present naturally in low concentrations. As a result, gadolinium has a very fast burnout rate and has limited use as a nuclear control rod material.

General Info

AtomicNumber
64
Symbol
Gd
Name
Gadolinium

Atomic Info

Appearance
AtomicWeight
157.25(3)
Color
45FFC7
ElectronicConfiguration
[Xe] 4f7 5d1 6s2
ElectronegativityInPauling
1.2
AtomicRadiusInPM
IonRadiusInPM
93.8 (+3)
VanDerWaalsRadiusInPM
IEinKJmol
593
EAinKJmol
-50
OxidationStates
1, 2, 3
StandardState
solid
BondingType
metallic
MeltingPoint
1586
BoilingPoint
3523
Density
7.9
State
Lanthanide
DiscoveredYear
1880