ESL Saigon logo



Name: Erbium
Symbol: Er
Number of Energy Levels: 6
Electrons on the outer energy level: 2
Atomic number: 68
Atomic Mass: 167.26 Amu (Atomic Mass Units)
Protons/Electrons: 68
Neutrons: 99
Density: 8.795 g/cm3
Classification: Rare Earth

Erbium | Chemical elements

Erbium was discovered in 1843 by Carl Mosander. Its name derives from the word "Ytterby" which is a town in Sweden. Erbium’s melting point is at 1522.0 °C (1795.15 K, 2771.6 °F) and its boiling point is at 2510.0 °C (2783.15 K, 4550.0 °F).

Top 12 interesting facts about Erbium

  1. Erbium is a silvery-white malleable metal.
  2. Erbium is relatively stable in air and forms its oxide slower than other similar elements.
  3. Erbium reacts slowly with cold water and quickly with hot water.
  4. Erbium is never found freely in nature but in compounds with other elements.
  5. Erbium’s salts are rose-pink colored.
  6. Erbium is composed of six stable isotopes: 162-Er, 164-Er, 166-Er (the most abundant), 167-Er, 168-Er, and 170-Er.
  7. Erbium is the 45th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust.
  8. Erbium is mainly produced from minerals xenotime and euxenite.
  9. China is the main supplier of erbium.
  10. Erbium’s main applications are: as a photographic filter, as a metallurgical additive, in neutron absorbing control rods in nuclear industry, in alloys with vanadium and nickel, pink colorant for glass and porcelain, for fiber amplifiers in optical communication, and in different medical applications.
  11. Erbium does not play any biological role in human body but it stimulates metabolism.
  12. Erbium is toxic if ingested but not its compounds.

Back to index