Introduction to Lanthanum Boride
Lanthanum boride, also called lanthanum hexaboride or LaB6, is a compound of rare earth metal element La and nonmetal element B. Its crystal structure is simple cubic, and the B atoms encircle lanthanum atoms to form an octahedral structure. Because of the crystal structure, LaB6 ceramic film made of lanthanum boride sputtering target has good electrical conductivity.
The lanthanium boride sputtering target has a high melting point, high strength, and high hardness. The free electrons in the LaB6 structure also give it good electric and thermal conductivity like metal. LaB6 sputter target has high chemical stability, only reacts with aqua regia and nitric acid at room temperature, and low oxidation between 600 ℃ and 900 ℃. In addition, LaB6 material also has many special characteristics:
① Low electric work function, excellent resistance to radioactive;
② Low expansion coefficient—close to 0 in a certain temperature range;
③ Good stability in the air;
④ High resistance against ion bombardment;
⑤ Pure boron ion can be obtained with LaB6 as the cathode to create a strong and stable ion source.
Lanthanum Boride Used In Solar Industry
As we all know, LaB6 is a thermionic material with the ability to emit electrons. It has been widely exploited in the last 60 years since the pioneering work of Lafferty on sintered hexaboride ceramics. LaB6 has been used to build hot cathodes for a large variety of applications, including electron guns in cathode tubes, cathodes for plasma production, and electron microscopes. LaB6 sputtering target has been used to coat excellent LaB6 film for electric components.
Renewable energies, and in particular solar energy exploitation issues, are a key topic for the future. At present, the main technologies for concentrating solar energy systems are solar thermal power generation and concentrating photovoltaic power generation. However, a new method has recently been proposed for utilizing the thermoelectrics and thermoelectric effects to directly generate electrical energy from concentrated sunlight.
For thermodynamic solar applications, the knowledge of the optical properties of LaB6 is of interest. LaB6 has an endothermic property and is a thermionic material. It can be used as both a direct high-temperature solar absorber and an electron source, significantly reducing system complexity in future concentrating solar thermal electronic systems and bringing real innovation in the field.
Lanthanum Boride Other Applications
-Thermionic emission (cathode)
-Plasma source for plasma-enhanced coating(PECVD)
-Vacuum electron beam welding machine
-Electron beam surface reforming device
-Electron beam lithography device
-Transmission electron microscope
-Scanning electron microscope
-Surface analysis device
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