Niobium, is a chemical element with symbol Nb and atomic number 41. It is a soft, grey, ductile transition metal. It has physical and chemical properties similar to the element tantalum, and the two are therefore difficult to distinguish.
Nb is used in various superconducting materials. These superconducting alloys, also containing titanium and tin, are widely used in the superconducting magnets of MRI scanners. Other applications of Nb include welding, nuclear industries, electronics, optics, numismatics, and jewelry. In the last two applications, the low toxicity and iridescence produced by anodization are highly desired properties.
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