Erbium: historical information

  • Discoveror: Carl G. Mosander
  • Place of discovery: Sweden
  • Date of discovery: 1842
  • Origin of name : named after the village of "Ytterby" near Vaxholm in Sweden.

In 1842 Gustav Mosander separated "yttria", found in the mineral gadolinite, into three fractions which he called yttria, erbia, and terbia. The names erbia and terbia became confused in this early period. After 1860, Mosander's terbia was known as erbia, and after 1877, the earlier known erbia became terbia. The erbia of this period was later shown to consist of five oxides, now known as erbia, scandia, holmia, thulia and ytterbia. Klemm and Bommer first produced reasonably pure erbium metal in 1934 by reducing the anhydrous chloride with potassium vapour.

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