Erbium is applied as an amplifier in fiber optics, and in lasers for cutting and welding as well as medical and dental use. Perovskite structured oxides are electronically conductive and are applied in the cathode of solid oxide fuel cells and oxygen generation systems. Erbium is used in neutron-absorbing control rods. As an alloy additive, Erbium lowers the hardness and improves the workability of numerous metals.
In oxide form, the element is used as a pink colorant in glass and porcelain enamel glazes, and it is often used in photographic filters.