Neodymium is a soft silvery metal that tarnishes in air. Neodymium is not found naturally in metallic form or unmixed with other lanthanides, and it is usually refined for general use. Although neodymium is classed as a rare earth, it is a fairly common element.
Protons and Neutrons in Neodymium
Neodymium is a chemical element with atomic number 60 which means there are 60 protons in its nucleus. Total number of protons in the nucleus is called the atomic number of the atom and is given the symbol Z. The total electrical charge of the nucleus is therefore +Ze, where e (elementary charge) equals to 1,602 x 10-19 coulombs.
The total number of neutrons in the nucleus of an atom is called the neutron number of the atom and is given the symbol N. Neutron number plus atomic number equals atomic mass number: N+Z=A. The difference between the neutron number and the atomic number is known as the neutron excess: D = N – Z = A – 2Z.
For stable elements, there is usually a variety of stable isotopes. Isotopes are nuclides that have the same atomic number and are therefore the same element, but differ in the number of neutrons. Mass numbers of typical isotopes of Neodymium are 142, 143, 145-147.
Main Isotopes of Neodymium
Neodymium occurs in 7 natural isotopes: 142Nd, 143Nd, 144Nd, 145Nd, 146Nd, 148Nd and 150Nd. Of these, 144Nd, 148Nd and 150Nd are unstable and very slightly radioactive. 142Nd is the most common isotope, having a natural abundance of approximately 27%.
Neodymium-142 is composed of 60 protons, 82 neutrons, and 60 electrons.
Neodymium-143 is composed of 60 protons, 83 neutrons, and 60 electrons.
Neodymium-144 is composed of 60 protons, 84 neutrons, and 60 electrons.
Neodymium-145 is composed of 60 protons, 85 neutrons, and 60 electrons.
Neodymium-146 is composed of 60 protons, 86 neutrons, and 60 electrons.
Neodymium-148 is composed of 60 protons, 88 neutrons, and 60 electrons.
Neodymium-150 is composed of 60 protons, 90 neutrons, and 60 electrons.
Electrons and Electron Configuration
The number of electrons in an electrically-neutral atom is the same as the number of protons in the nucleus. Therefore, the number of electrons in neutral atom of Neodymium is 60. Each electron is influenced by the electric fields produced by the positive nuclear charge and the other (Z – 1) negative electrons in the atom.
Since the number of electrons and their arrangement are responsible for the chemical behavior of atoms, the atomic number identifies the various chemical elements. The configuration of these electrons follows from the principles of quantum mechanics. The number of electrons in each element’s electron shells, particularly the outermost valence shell, is the primary factor in determining its chemical bonding behavior. In the periodic table, the elements are listed in order of increasing atomic number Z.
Electron configuration of Neodymium is [Xe] 4f4 6s2.
Possible oxidation states are +3.
Most Common Application of Neodymium
The most important use for neodymium is in an alloy with iron and boron to make very strong permanent magnets. A neodymium magnet is the most widely used type of rare-earth magnet. It is a permanent magnet made from an alloy of neodymium, iron, and boron to form the Nd2Fe14B tetragonal crystalline structure. These magnets are widely used in such products as microphones, professional loudspeakers, in-ear headphones, high performance hobby DC electric motors, and computer hard disks, where low magnet mass (or volume) or strong magnetic fields are required.
|Number of protons||60|
|Number of neutrons (typical isotopes)||142, 143, 145-147|
|Number of electrons||60|
|Electron configuration||[Xe] 4f4 6s2|
Properties of other elements