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Cerium • Lanthanide Rare Earth

Primary XPS region: Ce3d
Overlapping regions: Ba MNN
Binding energies of common chemical states:

Chemical state Binding energy Ce3d5/2
Ce (IV) oxide ~882 eV
Ce (III) oxide ~880 eV

Binding energy ref for Ce(IV) oxide from “Synchrotron XPS data from Ce3+ and Ce4+ oxide reference samples (Oak Ridge National Laboratories,”

Experimental Information

Interpretation of XPS spectra

General comments


crystal structureAbout This Element

Symbol: Ce
Date of Discovery: 1803
Name Origin: Ceres
Appearance: gray
Discoverer: W. von Hisinger
Obtained From: monazite, orthite

Melting Point: 1068 K
Boiling Point: 3633 K
Density[kg/m3]: 6689
Molar Volume: 20.69 × 10-6 m3/mol
Protons/Electrons: 58
Neutrons: 82
Shell Structure: 2,8,18,19,9,2
Electron Configuration: [Xe]4f15d16s2
Oxidation State: 3,4
Crystal Structure: hexagonal

Cerium, named after the dwarf planet Ceres, is a soft, malleable, and ductile metal. It is likely to ignite when scratched with a knife, and can ignite spontaneously in air at 65 to 80 °C. Its flames are toxic. Water should not be used to put out cerium fires, as its reaction with water produces hydrogen gas. Although known as a rare earth metal, cerium is not rare at all. Available in large quantities, cerium is even more abundant than lead. This element is widely used in making aluminum and heat-resistant alloys.


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