Element category: lanthanide
Terbium is a silvery, malleable, ductile rare earth metal and a member of the lanthanide group of the periodic table.
Terbium was discovered by Swedish chemist Carl Gustaf Mosander in 1843. Terbium is a silvery-gray, malleable, soft and ductile rare earth element which can be cut by a knife. Terbium is relatively stable in air. Terbium can be used as a dopant in calcium fluoride, calcium tungstate and strontium molybdate. Also, terbium, as a component of Terfenol-D, is used in actuators, naval sonar systems, sensors and other devices.
Terbium is rare and expensive, so it has few commercial uses. It is mainly used to dope calcium fluoride, calcium tungstate and strontium molybdate, materials that are used in solid-state devices. When together with zirconium dioxide (ZrO2), terbium is used as a crystal stabilizer in fuel cells that operate at high temperatures. It is also used in lasers, semiconductor devices, and phosphorous in color television tubes.