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As the most abundant lanthanide, cerium is also a go-to choice for chemists looking to exploit the chemistry of this group of elements at the bottom of the periodic table. While working on a method to prepare cerium oxide nanoparticles, chemistry graduate student Anuja Bhalkikar of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln bubbled ozone through an ethanol solution of cerium (III) nitrate, acquiring an orange-red colored precipitate. After some drying, Bhalkikar found the irregularly-shaped fiery cerium oxide crystals shown here.
Submitted by Anuja Bhalkikar
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