Is a Rare Earth Replacement on the Way?

Micro-crystals of zinc, which when combined with other common minerals, could be substituted in for rare-Earth...
Micro-crystals of zinc, which when combined with other common minerals, could be substituted in for rare-Earth metals in electronic devices(Credit: prill/Depositphotos)

Electronic devices are made possible thanks to a group of elements often referred to as rare-Earth metals, but as the name suggests, these may be in limited supply and are relatively expensive. Now, a team of scientists has found a way to combine much more common elements into electronically-useful compounds, which could find their way into tunable lighting and solar panels. read more