FastCompany: U.S. Will Take 15 Years to Break Dependence on Chinese Metals

The DOE also suggests developing substitutes--a process that is already underway. A company called Nanosys, for example, manufactures synthetic phosphors for LED backlighting out of easy-to-find materials--not the yttrium commonly used in phosphor production. Big-name electronics manufacturers like LG and Samsung are snapping up the Nanosys QuantumRail LED backlighting device, in part because it doesn't require those pesky rare earth metals.