Jan Scholten

14.0 Erbium physical

Pure erbium is malleable, soft, somewhat stable in air and does not oxidize as quickly as some other rare-earth metals. Erbium is trivalent. Its salts are rose-colored and the element gives a characteristic sharp absorption spectra in visible light, ultraviolet, and near infrared. Otherwise it looks much like the other rare earths. Its sesquioxide is called erbia. Erbium’s properties are to a degree dictated by the kind and amount of impurities present.

Atomic Number: 68.
Symbol: Er.
Discovery: 1842 by C.G. Mosander at Stockholm, Sweden.
Name: after Ytterby, a small village near Stockholm.
Toxicology: stimulates metabolism.
Ore: monazite, xenotime and euxenite.

1. Color: Er2O3 has a beautiful pastel rose, pink color, used in ceramics, glasses, spectacles, cheap jewelry and porcelain enamel glaze.
2. Photographic filter.
3. Light amplifiers: glass with Er is used as light amplifiers, 22-30 dB. It's used as a dopant in fiber amplifiers.
4. Photographic filter.
5. Metallurgical additive: because of its resilience. Lowers hardness and improves workability together with vanadium.
6. Neutron absorption in nuclear reactors.