The Green Elements, often seen as an appendage to periodic tables, have an ever-growing variety of applications in modern technology. The physical and chemical properties of the Rare Earth elements contribute essential functions to a range of uses that affect our daily lives. Consider the following:
The miniaturization of cell phones, PDA’s, other mobile devices, media players such as iPod®’s, computers and computing devices, “ear bud” speakers, microphones, and a host of other items is made possible by powerful, Neodymium-based magnets. Hard disk drives, CD and DVD players and speakers all use Neodymium magnets. You can find other Rare Earth elements in batteies powering hybrid vehicles, cell phones, and in the display screen of your laptop.
The Rare Earths unique luminescent properties allowed us to make the leap from black & white to color television many decades ago. Today, Rare Earth materials using Europium, Yttrium, Cerium, and Terbium are in a variety of devices requiring those unique properties such as flat panel displays, LCD’s, Plasma screens, and CFL’s.
Optical lenses such as those found in digital cameras and camcorders and glass found in scanners and copiers require Lanthanum and other Rare Earths as additives.