Gadolinium – 64

Categories: 21 Feb 2012

Gadolinium is a light/medium rare earth metal found in bastnasite and monazite deposits. It has a unique combination of superconductive, paramagnetic (has magnetic properties in the presence of a magnetic field), and magnetocaloric (reversible change in temperature occurs in the presence of a magnetic field) properties.

Uses:

Heat-resistant metals and alloys MRI and X-ray machines. Detecting radiation leaks in CANDU nuclear reactors. Microwave communications technology. Phosphor coating for compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). Glass polishing for cathode ray tubes (CRT), plasma (PDP), and liquid crystal (LCD) screens. Manufacture of high-strength glass substrates for hard disks.

Magneto-optic recording technology for storing computer data. Research is being done to create high-efficiency magnetocaloric fridges that don’t rely on CFCs.