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Although it belongs to the rare-earth metals, neodymium is not rare at all.Its abundance in the Earth's crust is about 38 mg/kg, which is the second highest among rare-earth elements, following cerium.These have been used in extremely-high-power applications, such as experiments in inertial confinement fusion.Neodymium is also used with various other substrate crystals, such as yttrium aluminum garnet in the Nd: YAG laser.The color of neodymium compounds—due to the Nd ion—is often a reddish-purple but it changes with the type of lighting, due to the interaction of the sharp light absorption bands of neodymium with ambient light enriched with the sharp visible emission bands of mercury, trivalent europium or terbium.Some neodymium-doped glasses are also used in lasers that emit infrared with wavelengths between 10 nanometers.
It is present in significant quantities in the ore minerals monazite and bastnäsite.
This laser usually emits infrared at a wavelength of about 1064 nanometers.
The Nd: YAG laser is one of the most commonly used solid-state lasers.
The main mining areas are in China, the United States, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, and Australia.
The reserves of neodymium are estimated at about eight million tonnes.