Thulium is an inner transition metal (or lanthanide) that lies in period six of the periodic table, between erbium and ytterbium.
Metallic thulium in dust form presents a fire and explosion hazard.
Naturally occurring thulium is composed of a single stable isotope, Tm-169 (100 percent natural abundance).
Newer ion-exchange and solvent extraction techniques have led to easier separation of the rare earths, which has yielded much lower costs for thulium production.
Cleve named the oxide thulia and its element thulium after Thule, Scandinavia.
The isotopes of thulium range in atomic weight from 145.966 u (Tm-146) to 176.949 u (Tm-177).
Thulium has a low-to-moderate acute toxic rating and should be handled with care.
Thulium (chemical symbol Tm, atomic number 69) is the least abundant of the rare earth metals.
Thulium has been used to create lasers, but high production costs have prevented other commercial uses from being developed.