What’s Holmium Oxide?
Holmium oxide also known as Holmium trioxide has the chemical form Ho2O3. The compound of rare earth elements holmium or oxygen, Holmium oxide, is known as holmium trioxide. It’s as popular as dysprosium, and one of the most paramagnetic substances. The component of erbiumoxid minerals, holmium dioxide is also made up of holmium oxide. The natural state of holmium dioxide often mixes with the trivalent oxides lanthanides. A specific process is needed to distinguish them. You can make special colored glass with holmium dioxide. Because of its sharp peak appearance, the visible absorption spectrum for glass and solutions containing holmium dioxide is often used as a reference point to calibrate spectrophotometers.
Crystal Structure of Holmium Oxide
Although Holmium dioxide crystals are part of the cubic crystal structure, their structure is complex. Every unit cell is made up many atoms. The lattice constant at 1.06nm is quite large. This structure is typical for oxides of rare earth metal elements like Tb2O3, Dy2O3,Er2O3, Tam2O3, Tm2O3, Lu2O3, and Yb2O3. It has 7.4mm/ thermal expansion coefficient.
Historical Information About Holmium Oxide
Marc de la Fontaine & Jacques Luis Sole discovered Holmia in 1878 when they observed an unusual absorption spectrum of an unidentified element. Pell Teodorcliff also discovered the element during the 1878 study of Erbium Oxide.
Cliff was able to remove impurities using the method of Carl Gustav Mossander. Two types of impurities are found among them: the brown and the green. He called the brown substance “Holmia” after Stockholm and the “thulia” green substance. He later found out that the materials he separated actually contained holmium oxide as well as thulium dioxide.
Holmium Oxide production process
We will briefly describe the process of extracting holmium oxide: crushing minerals and grinding. Repeated use of the electromagnetic beneficiation technique is required to remove the holmium phosphate from the ore. The pH of the acidic filtrate can be partially neutralized by sodium hydroxide, which will give it a pH range between 3-4. Hydroxide will form from the precipitation of thorium. Ammonium oxalate is then used to transform the rare earth salt in to insoluble, oxalate. An annealing process converts the oxalate to oxide. After the oxide has been dissolved in the nitric, the oxide of main ingredient cerium becomes insoluble in the nitric, which separates the cerium.
Ion exchange is the best method to distinguish holmium dioxide from other rare earth elements. You first need to add the rare earthions onto an appropriate ion-exchange resin. Next, you will use a suitable complexing agent like ammonium citrate, or nitrilotriacetic Acid, to wash out any remaining rare earthions.
Holmium Oxide: Application Options
The yellow and red colors of Soviet glass can be enhanced by holmium dioxide. The spectrum has sharp peak absorption values of glass with holmium oxygen and holmium solution (or perchloric acids solution), so these glasses can be used for calibration purposes and they have been commercially produced. Like rare earth elements like holmium, holmium dioxide can also be used as a catalyst, phosphor, and laser material. This laser can produce pulsed and continuous light, with a wavelength of approximately 2.08mm. This laser is non-harmful to the eye and can be used for medical, optical radar, wind speed measuring, atmospheric monitoring, and medicine.
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