The molecular formula of lanthanum hexaboride: LaB6. Lanthanum hexaboride is purple powder, insoluble in water, hydrochloric acid and magenta solid. Lanthanum trioxide and borax are dissolved in a suitable molten salt and electrolysed with graphite anodes at high temperatures to deposit lanthanum hexaboride on graphite or steel cathodes. Due to its high melting point and high thermal radiation performance, it can replace high melting point metals and alloys in nuclear fusion reactors and thermoelectric power generation.
The main use of LaB6 is to fabricate an electron-emitting cathode, a specially structured crystal. Due to the low electron-emission, a cathode material with a maximum emission current at medium temperature can be obtained. High quality single crystals are ideal materials for high-power electron emission cathode. In addition, it can also be used as high brightness light source to produce core elements of electron microscope, such as optical filters, soft X-ray monochromators and other electron beam light sources. The outstanding overall performance of LaB6 allows it to be used in a wide range of electron beam systems, such as electron beam engraving, electron beam heat sources, electron beam torches and accelerators, for the manufacture of high performance components.
The use of lanthanum hexaboride is very wide. It has been successfully applied in radar aerospace, electronics industry, instrumentation, medical equipment, home appliances, metallurgy, environmental protection and over twenty other military and high-tech fields. Its products mainly include three kinds of powder, polycrystalline and single crystal. Lanthanum hexaboride single crystal is the best material for the production of high-power electronic tube, magnetrons, electron beam, ion beam and accelerator cathode.