Antimony, with the chemical symbol Sb and atomic number 51, has a long history dating back to ancient times. It was first utilized by the Egyptians around 3000 BCE and later isolated by Chinese alchemists. The discovery of pure antimony is credited to the German physician and alchemist Andreas Libavius in the 16th century.
On Earth, antimony is found in small quantities, primarily in the form of sulfide minerals such as stibnite. It constitutes about 0.2 parts per million of the Earth's crust. Despite its relative rarity, antimony has found various applications. Historically, it was used in the production of alloys and in medicine. In modern times, it is employed in flame retardants for plastics and textiles, as well as in semiconductors and batteries.
Future applications for antimony could emerge in areas such as renewable energy and electronics. Research is focused on utilizing antimony in high-energy-density batteries and in the production of solar cells.