Rare Earths (image) University of Basel Share Print E-Mail Caption Rare earth oxides (red/orange) react with gaseous organic compounds from the ambient air to form carbonates and hydroxides (grey/white). Through this reaction, the surface develops water-repelling properties. Credit University of Basel, Department of Physics Usage Restrictions None Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.