Gadolinium

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  • Gadolinium is a chemical element with symbol Gd and atomic number 64 and it is a soft, shiny, ductile, silvery metal belonging to the lanthanide group of the periodic chart.
  • It is a paramagnetic metal ion. Paramagnetic ions, such as gadolinium, move differently within a magnetic field.
  • It has found some use in control rods for nuclear reactors and nuclear power plants.
  • It is used to make garnets for microwave applications and its compounds are used for making phosphorous for colour TV tubes.
  • It has the highest thermal neutron capture cross-section of any known element. It combines with most elements to form Gd(III) derivatives.
  • This type of gadolinium metal is available commercially so it is not normally necessary to make it in the laboratory, which is just as well as it is difficult to isolate as the pure meta.
  • Pure gadolinium is available through the reduction of GdF3 with calcium metal.
  • It does not react in dry air but will tarnish to a flaky white oxide in moist air that does not protect it from further oxidation.
  • Use of gadolinium is alloys of iron and chromium to improve resistance to high temperatures.
  • Gadolinium compounds are used as green phosphors in color television picture tubes.
  • It has 27 isotopes whose half-lives are known, with mass numbers 137 to 164.It produces colourless salts and the metal reacts slowly with water and is soluble in dilute acid.
  • Gadolinium is found in several other minerals, including monazite and bastnasite, both of which are commercially important.

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