Editorial Feature

Lanthanum Hexaboride (LaB6) Nanoparticles – Properties, Applications

Nanoparticle research has found a number of applications in a variety of fields, which were not possible earlier with elements in their original states. This article will elaborate on the properties and applications of lanthanum hexaboride nanoparticles.

Lanthanum hexaboride (LaB6) nanoparticles are inorganic, refractory ceramic materials. These particles are not soluble in water and hydrochloric acid. A notable property of these particles is that they have the highest electron emissivity. They are stable when kept under vacuum conditions. Lanthanum belongs to Block F, Period 6 while boron belongs to Block P, Period 2 of the periodic table.

Chemical Properties

The following tables list the chemical properties of lanthanum hexaboride.

Chemical Data
Chemical symbol LaB6
CAS No 12008-21-8
Group Lanthanum 3
Boron 13
Electronic configuration Lanthanum [Xe] 5d1 6s2
Boron [He] 2s2 2p1
Chemical Composition
Element Content (%)
Lanthanum 68.16
Boron 31.82

Physical Properties

Lanthanum hexaboride nanoparticles appear in the form of purple violet particles. The table below provides the physical properties of these nanoparticles.

Properties Metric Imperial
Density 4.72 g/cm3 0.170 lb/in3
Molar Mass 203.78 g/mol -

Thermal Properties

The thermal properties of lanthanum hexaboride nanoparticles are given in the table below:-

Properties Metric Imperial
Melting Point 2210° C 4010° F


Given below are some of the chief applications of lanthanum hexaboride nanoparticles:

  • As single crystal or as a coating on hot cathodes
  • Used as a size/strain standard in X-ray powder diffraction for calibrating the instrumental broadening of diffraction peaks
  • In radar aerospace, electronics and infrared applications
  • Environmental protection, refining, etching and synthetic organic chemistry.
  • Optical MEMS-based sensor in the NIR range

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