Terbium is contained in cerite, gadolinite, and monazite minerals.
Bright, fluorescent terbium oxide is used in phosphors, particularly in fluorescent lamps and as the high intensity green emitter used in projection televisions, such as the yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Tb:YAG) variety. In combination with Europium blue and red phosphors, the three create trichromatic fluorescent lighting, which is much brighter than conventional fluorescent lighting.
It is also used as a dopant for crystalline solid-state devices and fuel cell materials.
Terbium in combination with neodymium is used for production of the world’s most heat resistant super magnets.
The element is also used in alloys, crystal stabilizers in fuel cells that operate at high temperatures, specialty lasers, and to dope calcium fluoride, sodium borate and strontium molybdate materials.
Terbium is a component of Terfenol-D, a material that is used in transducers, high-precision liquid fuel injectors and in a new form of audio equipment that has the potential to revolutionise the speaker industry.