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Application Notes

Lanthanum • Lanthanide Rare Earth

Primary XPS region: La3d
Overlapping regions: Transition metal Augers, La MNN
Binding energies of common chemical states:

Chemical state Binding energy La3d5/2/eV
La2O3 834.5
La(OH)3 834.7
La2(CO3)3 835

Experimental Information

Interpretation of XPS spectra

• Inspection of the La4p region can also help assign chemistry, e.g. differentiating between La2O3 and La(OH)3.

General comments

crystal structureAbout This Element

Symbol: La
Date of Discovery: 1839
Name Origin: Greek lanthanein
Appearance: white
Discoverer: Carl Gustaf Mosander
Obtained From: monazite, bastnasite

Melting Point: 1193 K
Boiling Point: 3743 K
Density[kg/m3]: 6146
Molar Volume: 22.39 × 10-6 m3/mol
Protons/Electrons: 57
Neutrons: 82
Shell Structure: 2,8,18,18,9,2
Electron Configuration: [Xe]5d16s2
Oxidation State: 3
Crystal Structure: Hexagonal

This element is so soft that it can be cut by a knife. Lanthanum has an important role in the motion picture industry because it is used in studio lighting and projection. It is also used to make infrared absorbing glass, and is used in the lenses of cameras and telescopes. Adding small amounts of lanthanum to steel improves steel’s malleability and adding it to molybdenum decreases the molybdenum’s hardness and sensitivity to temperature variation. While lanthanum has no known biological role, lanthanum chloride has anticoagulant properties. Injecting lanthanum solutions in animals causes glycohemia, low blood pressure, degeneration of the spleen, and hepatic alterations.

Application Notes

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