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Author: Subject: Interesting rare earth metals (lanthanoids) and thier salts
Antwain
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[*] posted on 6-10-2007 at 12:28
Interesting rare earth metals (lanthanoids) and thier salts


Forgive me if there is a thread already about this, I looked and couldn't find one. There are several others concerning obtaining these metals and dealing with some specific ones. I am curious as to which of these metals and their salts are the most interesting from the point of view of the amateur chemist.

For example, I would not consider neodymium interesting because it can make very strong magnets with boron and iron, simply because it is far beyond my abilities to make these magnets myself with the equipment I have on hand. Something That I would consider interesting is europium oxide (Eu2O3), because this substance is (I believe) very strongly fluorescent under UV. :o

I may decide to buy some rare earth metals soon and since I can't afford to buy them all I would be interested to know if there are some more 'fun' ones that I definitely must get. :D
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[*] posted on 6-10-2007 at 13:32


Eu2O3 in itsself is not phosphorescent under a UV lamp, it's the Y2O3 doped variety of Eu2O3 that ís. I've made it once for a practicum. It shines a ghostly red under a UV light. Dissolving both the oxides in nitric acid and then subsequently precipitating it using ammonia was how we mixed the two intimately. Glowing it in an oven at 950°C for a few hours then removed everything but the mixed oxides. (I believe some oxalic acid was added a flux of sorts...)



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[*] posted on 6-10-2007 at 15:20


@Antwain-You should check out pottery suppliers. In The USA I know of at least 2 that sell rare earth oxides. They are not reagent grade but they will be good enough for folling around and alot cheaper.



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[*] posted on 7-10-2007 at 01:41


"Eu2O3 in itsself is not phosphorescent under a UV lamp, it's the Y2O3 doped variety of Eu2O3 that ís. "
Are you sure that's the right way round? I think it's Eu doped Y2O3 that glows.
There are certainly Eu compounds that glow red without any Y compounds.
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[*] posted on 7-10-2007 at 02:03


I think you mean lanthanides not lanthanoids.



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Antwain
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[*] posted on 7-10-2007 at 02:34


Quote:
Originally posted by Sauron
I think you mean lanthanides not lanthanoids.


Possibly I do, but I copied the spelling verbatim from the periodic table on the wall half a meter to my left.
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[*] posted on 7-10-2007 at 08:21


Sorry, but I believe that if you check you will find that your periodic table is in error.

Lanthanides, not Lanthanoids

Antinides not Actinoids



[Edited on 7-10-2007 by Sauron]




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chemkid
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[*] posted on 7-10-2007 at 08:27


Perhaps lanthanoids is an antiquated term for I have seen it used as well. Spell checkers don't seem to like it though.

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[*] posted on 7-10-2007 at 08:31


From 2004
Quote:
IUPAC suggest but do not required lanthanoid and actinoid on the grounds that "-ide" inferrs a negative charge. Some newer books are switching to -oids, inertia rules the rest?


http://www.webelements.com/nexus/node/140

http://www.iupac.org/reports/provisional/abstract04/RB-prs31...
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[*] posted on 7-10-2007 at 08:39


Yes, I just found that as well. In this instance I think IUPAC is not serving chemistry well, but, there it is.

Their argument is that the -ide suffix should only be used to denote negative ions.

However, I am an old dog and resist new tricks. It is obvious that all of the traditional chemical names that contain such minor inconsistencies cannot be resolved in such a fashion without creating chaos.

In any case Antwain's periodic chart is merely indulging in a current fashion, it is not incorrect, merely nontraditional.




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[*] posted on 7-10-2007 at 09:51


Lanthanon is another name for lanthanide or lanthanoid. Terrible, all these naming conventions.

If you want interesting chemistry with any of the "rare" earths, then you could go for cerium (also one of the cheapest) or neodymium or praseodymium.

Cerium has a nice coordination and redox chemixtry in water. It has some intensely colored compounds and with some luck you can find salts of cerium(IV).

Neodymium and praseodymium have nice colors in their ionic compounds, but their aqueous chemistry is confined to the +3 oxidation state.

Actually, compared to the transition metals, the chemistry of the lanthanoids is not that interesting. Really interesting chemistry is obtained for vanadium, chromium, molybdenum and copper, with numerous colors, complexes and extensive redox chemistry.

Iridium is another very interesting one, but it is soooooo expensive.




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[*] posted on 8-10-2007 at 09:15


Quote:
Originally posted by Sauron
I think you mean lanthanides not lanthanoids.


Please stop bossing other people around, especially when it concerns trivia. Lanthanoid is a perfectly valid (though lesser used term), which returns nearly 5000 hits on Google Scholar.

Now can we get back to discussing lanthanoid chemistry...




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[*] posted on 8-10-2007 at 10:04


I was not "bossing anyone around."

Do not mischaractarize what I posted.

I was correcting what I thought was a mistake. It was not a mistake, merely a post-2003 vogue that has not caught on, and I do NOT care how many hits it has in Google Scholar. That is not a measure of reality.

LANTHANIDE has a long and illustrious history of usage, whereas lanthanoid is a four year old johnny come lately.




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Antwain
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[*] posted on 8-10-2007 at 15:20


It is a moot point. You all knew what I meant. The main reason I put it in is because the FSE - ie. the one we are supposed to use before posting - is frankly crap, and I figured that including that may help it show up if anyone is interested in the future.

Yes indeed, lets get back to the topic at hand. Cotton and Wilkinson has some information on the metals and salts of these elements, but it is a far to theoretically oriented book for use in this case. None of my other books mention them except briefly. Are there any brightly coloured or for any other reason interesting compounds that can be made with these elements. I am sure that some of you must have made stuff. :)

PS. IUPAC can go to hell for all I care, all that matters when discussing chemistry is that one can communicate clearly. If people know unambiguously what you are talking about, then it is right. This was a major sticking point when I first became interested in chemistry in yr 10. They INSISTED that we call acetic acid "ethanoic acid" but I had already become attached to the only name it is ever known by. After raising a stink when I was marked incorrect I dragged in several random papers and they were forced to concede. (BTW the spell checker doesn't like "ethanoic" either :D )
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[*] posted on 8-10-2007 at 23:34


IUPAC has its place, but I agree with you that acetic acid is a fine name and I doubt that ethanoic acid will ever displace it.

And yes the FSE is mostly useless.




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[*] posted on 9-10-2007 at 04:15


My organic chem prof says "1-methylethyl" is the 'preferred' systematic name, but nobody ever uses anything other than "isopropyl"...

And let's not forget the spoken confusion of -ane, -ene, -yne and -ine.

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[*] posted on 9-10-2007 at 04:51


Let's not forget 2-propyl. Same as isopropyl or (shudder) 1-methylethyl.



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Antwain
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[*] posted on 9-10-2007 at 05:39


so about those rare earths...... ;)

Can someone at least tell me where to find some good but general (ie. not an obscure research parer) online lit about them?
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[*] posted on 9-10-2007 at 06:41


I've picked up various books on the REE (lanthanides is so new wave) over the years. Most of those from the 40s and earlier 50s focus on the separation, often in the context of nuclear research. The 50s and 60 tended to be alloys, later 60s on had a lot on phosphors using REE as doping elements. More recent ones have more on coordination complexes and organic chemistry, neither of which are really home lab stuff unless you've a high field NMR or can do work in an oxygen free atmosphere.

Cerium has the most interesting inorganic chemistry, because it is easy to schlep it between Ce(III) and Ce(IV), and the Ce(IV) compounds are coloured. Eu has the Eu(II) state, which can be obtained fairly simply, but the chemistry of Eu(II) is pretty similar to barium.

these two overviews pretty much sums it up
http://www.chem.ox.ac.uk/icl/heyes/LanthAct/L7.html

http://library.lanl.gov/cgi-bin/getfile?rc000021.pdf


After that try Google books limiting the search to "full view" and using "rare earths" or specific element names.

You might find the <i>Clay Times</i> "Fluorescent Glazes" (Jon Singer), 2005 May/Jun:48-52 interesting.
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[*] posted on 11-10-2007 at 18:06


Most of metalls from this group can be made by reacting corresponding flouride with metallic calcium in vacuum at high temperatures. I got my thullium (Tm) sample using this method. I have samples of pure metallic neodymium, sammarium, thullium, lanthanum, cerrium, gadolinium and yttrium. I can post photos of them if you want.

My favourite sample is gadolinium, it's ferromagnetic below 16C and paramagnetic above this temperature. You can see magnetic transition point transformation effects around room temperature.




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[*] posted on 11-10-2007 at 19:56


Surely unless you obtained a bunch of stuff for free, the cost of TmF3 + calcium metal would be greater than simply buying the metal to start with.

Interesting that gadolinium does that. All the more so because 2 weeks ago I would not have actually understood how that can happen. I was hoping that my 'condensed matter physics' course would be good for something.
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[*] posted on 12-10-2007 at 03:07


Because it has 7 unpaired 4f electrons, in addition to an unpaired 5d electron, in the ground state, which are the maximum possible numbers of unpaired electrons, gadolinium (and similarly curium), should theoretically be the most strongly ferromagnetic pure metals. However, I am surprised that it loses its ferromagnetism at only 16ºC.

[Edited on 12-10-07 by JohnWW]
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[*] posted on 19-10-2007 at 16:46


With regards to the Lanthanide/Lanthanoid nomenclature, I fully agree with IUPAC stating that Lanthanoid is the proper nomenclature here. The biggest mistake you can make when working with chemicals is assume something, and if someone says that they are studying Lanthanide Chemistry how can you be certain that they are talking about the Lanthanoid elements, or just Lanthanum's negatively charged ions?

I took chemistry back in the mid 1990's in high school, and even back then I learned to call them Lanthanoids and Actinoids since the -ide nomenclature was seemingly wrong AND confusing. Two things you DON'T want in regards to chemistry.




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[*] posted on 19-10-2007 at 17:25
lantha-whatevers and IUPAC


While they're at it can someone get IUPAC to suggest the Americans might spell and pronounce"Aluminium" properly?
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[*] posted on 20-10-2007 at 16:40


@jdurg- don't suppose you mean positively charged ions ;)

I haven't met anyone who cared a toss about the lanthanoids, in general or particular, at uni. If I ever did I would probably interrogate them further once they had expressed their interest, and not be satisfied by "yeah I study lanthanides". I am going to stick with 'its right if people know what you mean. On that not I would wager that I could find an IUPAC named chemical that would take people hours to work out. A picture is worth a thousand IUPAC words.
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