In today’s interconnected world, the rapid evolution of communication technology and the electronics industry has transformed the way we live, work, and communicate. However, these advancements come with their own set of challenges, particularly the growing concern of electromagnetic pollution. This invisible form of pollution, a byproduct of the proliferation of electronic devices, has raised alarms about potential health risks and environmental impacts. Recognizing the urgency of this issue, a groundbreaking research study has delved deep into the unique properties of rare earth elements, often referred to as the “vitamins of industry.” These elements have emerged as a beacon of hope, showing significant promise in their contributions to the development of cutting-edge electromagnetic wave (EMW) absorption materials.

A dedicated team of researchers from Shandong University, including Professor Wei Liu, Dr. Jiurong Liu, Dr. Lutong Li, Jing Qiao, Na Wu, and Fan Wu, led by the visionary Professor Zhihui Zeng, embarked on this exploratory journey. Their comprehensive study, now published in the renowned “Journal of Materials Science & Technology,” offers illuminating insights into the advancements made in EMW absorption materials, primarily due to the strategic inclusion of rare earth elements.

The research emphasizes a novel approach: doping materials with rare earth elements and constructing intricate rare earth oxide composites. These innovative methods have showcased immense potential, leading to the creation of high-efficiency EMW absorption materials. Such materials are pivotal in mitigating the adverse effects of electromagnetic pollution, ensuring a safer environment for all.

Delving deeper, the study meticulously categorizes rare earth EMW absorption materials into distinct groups. These include rare earth-doped ferrites, rare earth-transition metal intermetallics, and the versatile rare earth oxides. Each category, backed by rigorous studies and experiments, stands out with its unique features, strengths, and absorption mechanisms. “The integration of rare earth elements into these materials has unlocked new horizons in absorption efficiency,” remarks Dr. Jiurong Liu.

Furthermore, the research doesn’t shy away from addressing the challenges faced in this domain, also highlighting potential avenues for future exploration and development. The team believes that with continued research and innovation, the potential applications of rare earth elements in various industries could be limitless.

“Rare earth elements have proven to be indispensable in enhancing the efficiency of absorption materials, offering a sustainable solution to combat electromagnetic pollution,” states Professor Zhihui Zeng, emphasizing the significance of their findings.

In conclusion, as the world grapples with the multifaceted challenges of electromagnetic pollution, the findings of this research serve as a guiding light. Rare earth elements, with their unparalleled properties, have emerged as game-changers in the realm of electromagnetic wave absorption. Their potential to revolutionize absorption materials underscores the importance of continued research in this field, pointing towards a future where sustainable solutions prioritize human health and environmental well-being.

Reference: Jing Qiao, Lutong Li, Jiurong Liu, Na Wu, Wei Liu, Fan Wu, Zhihui Zeng, “The vital application of rare earth for future high-performance electromagnetic wave absorption materials: A review,” Journal of Materials Science & Technology, 2024. DOI:

About the Authors

Professor Zhihui Zeng has been serving as a professor at Shandong University’s School of Materials Science and Engineering since May 2021. He obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in electrical engineering from Henan Polytechnic University, followed by a Ph.D. from Beijing University of Technology. Later, he earned another Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. His research focuses on electromagnetic wave absorbing materials and the development of three-dimensional porous carbon materials