- For the first time a highly sensitive and selective fluorimetric optode membrane was prepared for determination of trace amounts of Tb(III) ions in phosphate rock samples. The Tb(III) sensing system was constructed by incorporating 5-(dimethylamino)-N'-(2-hydroxy-1-naphthoyl) naphthalene-1-sulfonohydrazine (L) as a neutral Tb(III)-selective fluoroionophore, in the plasticized PVC membrane containing sodium tetraphenyl borate as a liphophilic anionic additive. The response of the optode is based on the strong fluorescence quenching of L by Tb(3+) ions. At a pH value of 5.0, the optode displays a wide concentration range of 1.0 x 10(-7) to 1.0 x 10(-2)M, with a relatively fast response time of less than 45 s. In addition, to high stability and reproducibility, the sensor shows a unique selectivity towards Tb(3+) ion with respect to common cations. The optode was applied successfully to the trace determination of terbium ion in binary mixture and water samples and the determination of Tb(3+) in phosphate rock samples.