Erbium is a chemical element in the lanthanide series, with symbol Er and atomic number 68



  • A large variety of medical applications (i.e. dermatology, dentistry) utilize erbium ion’s 2940 nm emission, which is highly absorbed in water (absorption coefficient about 12000/cm). Such shallow tissue deposition of laser energy is necessary for laser surgery, and the efficient production of steam for laser enamel ablation in dentistry.
  • Erbium is also used in yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) medical lasers for procedures involving skin resurfacing such as acne scars, mole removal tattoo removal and warts.


  • Erbium does not have a biological role, but erbium salts can stimulate metabolism. Humans consume 1 milligram of erbium a year on average. The highest concentration of erbium in humans is in the bones, but there is also erbium in the human kidneys and liver.


  • Erbium is considered to be moderately toxic.


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Other names



Source: Wikipedia,


Image Source: By Erbium.jpg: Original uploader was Tomihahndorf at de.wikipediaderivative work: Materialscientist (talk) – Erbium.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0,














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