Gadolinium is a member of the lanthanide group of elements, and is obtained from the same sources as europium. It is a silvery white metal which is ductile and malleable. It is stable in a dry atmosphere but forms an oxide coating when exposed to moist air. It reacts slowly with water and is soluble in acids. Gadolinium has limited uses as a pure metal, but when alloyed with chromium, iron or similar metals, the resulting alloys have improved workability and corrosion resistance. Due to its magnetic properties, gadolinium is used in the manufacture of magnets, recording heads and electrical components.


Discovered in 1880 by J.C. Galissard in Geneva, Switzerland, and isolated by P.E. Lecoq de Boisbaudran in 1886 in Paris, France.

7.7 ppm in the Earth’s crust.

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Atomic number 64 Clip
Atomic / Molecular Weight 157.25 gmol-1Clip
Density 7870 kgm-3Clip
Crystal Structure hcp / bcc at 1537K Clip
Lattice constant 363 fmClip
Melting Point 1603 KClip
Boiling Point 3173 KClip
Specific heat capacity 234 Jkg-1K-1Clip
Thermal conductivity 10 Wm-1K-1Clip
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See also: Gadolinium III Chloride, Periodic Table.

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Subjects: Chemistry