Terbium-activated YAl3(BO3)4 (YAl3(BO3)4:Tb3+) phosphors were synthesized by both combustion method and solid-state reaction. It was found that the pure-phase YAl3(BO3)4 phosphors synthesized by combustion method were obtained at 1000°C, which was 200°C lower than that by solid-state reaction. The average particle size of the combustion-derived phosphors increased with increasing temperatures. The luminescence characteristics in ultraviolet (UV) — vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) ranges for the YAl3(BO3)4:Tb3+ phosphors were investigated. The bands from 175 nm to 300 nm were attributed to the 4f8-4f75d1 transitions of Tb3+. The other strong bands in the region from 125 nm to 175 nm were assigned to host absorption. The emission spectra showed the strongest emission at 542 nm corresponding to the 5D4→7F5 transition of Tb3+. Moreover, the combustion-derived YAl3(BO3)4:Tb3+ phosphors generated more intense luminescence than the solid-state-derived phosphors under UV excitation.