Neodymium is a chemical element with the symbol Nd and atomic number 60. It is the fourth member of the lanthanide series and is considered to be one of the rare-earth metals. It is a hard, slightly malleable, silvery metal that quickly tarnishes in air and moisture. When oxidized, neodymium reacts quickly producing pink, purple/blue and yellow compounds in the +2, +3 and +4 oxidation states. It is generally regarded as having one of the most complex spectra of the elements. Neodymium was discovered in 1885 by the Austrian chemist Carl Auer von Welsbach, who also discovered praseodymium. It is present in significant quantities in the minerals monazite and bastnäsite. Neodymium is not found naturally in metallic form or unmixed with other lanthanides, and it is usually refined for general use. Neodymium is fairly common—about as common as cobalt, nickel, or copper—and is widely distributed in the Earth's crust. Most of the world's commercial neodymium is mined in China, as is the case with many other rare-earth metals.

Neodymium compounds were first commercially used as glass dyes in 1927 and remain a popular additive. The color of neodymium compounds comes from the Nd3+ ion and is often a reddish-purple. However, this changes with the type of lighting because of the interaction of the sharp light absorption bands of neodymium with ambient light enriched with the sharp visible emission bands of mercury, trivalent europium or terbium. Neodymium-doped glasses are used in lasers that emit infrared with wavelengths between 1047 and 1062 nanometers. These lasers have been used in extremely high-power applications, such as experiments in inertial confinement fusion. Neodymium is also used with various other substrate crystals, such as yttrium aluminium garnet in the Nd:YAG laser.

Neodymium alloys are used to make high-strength neodymium magnets—a type of powerful permanent magnet. These magnets are widely used in products like 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. Larger neodymium magnets are used in electric motors with a high power-to-weight ratio (e. g. , in hybrid cars) and generators (e. g. , aircraft and wind turbine electric generators).

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Atomic properties

Standard atomic weight144.242 ±0.003
Atomic mass144.242 u

Atomic radii

Radius (empirical)181 pm
Radius (calculated)206 pm
Covalent radius201 ±6 pm

Atomic shell

Electron configurationXe 4f4 6s2
Ionization energy(1st) 5.525 eV
(2nd) 10.783 eV
(3rd) 22.09 eV
(4th) 40.6 eV
(5th) 60 eV
Shell model

Physical properties

Density7.003 g·cm−3 (298.1 K)
Molar volume2.059·10-5 m3·mol−1
Speed of sound2,330 m·s−1 (293.1 K)


Melting point1,297 K
Boiling point3,347 K
Liquid range2,050 K


Melting enthalpy7.1 kJ·mol-1
Enthalpy of vaporization285 kJ·mol-1
Binding energy328 kJ·mol-1

Heat and conductivity

Thermal conductivity17 W·m-1·K-1
Expansion coefficient9.6·10-6 K-1


Brinell hardness265 NM·m-2
Vickers hardness343 NM·m-2

Elastic properties

Young’s modulus41 GPa
Shear modulus16 GPa
Bulk modulus32 GPa
Poisson’s ratio0.28

Electrical properties

Electrical conductivity1.56·106 S·m-1
Resistance6.43·10-7 Ωm


Magnetic susceptibility0.00563 cm3·mol−1 (287.7 K)

Chemical properties

Basicityslightly basic
Oxidation state2, 3 , 4
Standard potential-2.32 V (Nd3+ + 3e- → Nd)


Pauling scale1.14
Allred-Rochow scale1.07
Nagle scale1.03

Other properties

Natural occurrenceprimordial
Crystal structureDouble hexagonal close-packed
Goldschmidt Classificationlithophile
Superconductorwithout transition tempperature
Price/kg57.5 USD

Natural abundances

10 ppb ≈ 1·1011 M☉
3 ppb ≈ 5.96·109 Mt
510 ppb ≈ 510 mg
Earth’s crust
33,000 ppb ≈ 914,000 Mt
0.0028 ppb ≈ 3.83 kt
Flowing water
0.2 ppb ≈ 3.2 kt