Indium is a chemical element with symbol In and atomic number 49. Indium is the softest metal that is not considered to be an alkali metal. It is a silvery-white metal that resembles Tin(Sn) in appearance. It is a post-transition metal that makes up 0.21 parts per million of the Earth's crust. Indium has a melting point higher than sodium and gallium, but lower than lithium and tin. Chemically, indium is similar to gallium and thallium, and it is largely intermediate between the two in terms of its properties.[7] Indium was discovered in 1863 by Ferdinand Reich and Hieronymous Theodor Richter by spectroscopic methods. They named it for the indigo blue line in its spectrum. Indium was isolated the next year.

Indium is a minor component in zinc sulfide ores and is produced as a byproduct of zinc refinement. It is most notably used in the semiconductor industry, in low-melting-point metal alloys such as solders, in soft-metal high-vacuum seals, and in the production of transparent conductive coatings of indium tin oxide (ITO) on glass. Indium is considered a technology-critical element.

Indium has no biological role, though its compounds are somewhat toxic when injected into the bloodstream. Most occupational exposure is through ingestion, from which indium compounds are not absorbed well, and inhalation, from which they are moderately absorbed.

Indium,  49In
Pronunciation/ˈɪndiəm/ (IN-dee-əm)
Appearancesilvery lustrous gray
Standard atomic weight Ar, std(In)114.818(1)[1]
Indium in the periodic table
Hydrogen Helium
Lithium Beryllium Boron Carbon Nitrogen Oxygen Fluorine Neon
Sodium Magnesium Aluminium Silicon Phosphorus Sulfur Chlorine Argon
Potassium Calcium Scandium Titanium Vanadium Chromium Manganese Iron Cobalt Nickel Copper Zinc Gallium Germanium Arsenic Selenium Bromine Krypton
Rubidium Strontium Yttrium Zirconium Niobium Molybdenum Technetium Ruthenium Rhodium Palladium Silver Cadmium Indium Tin Antimony Tellurium Iodine Xenon
Caesium Barium Lanthanum Cerium Praseodymium Neodymium Promethium Samarium Europium Gadolinium Terbium Dysprosium Holmium Erbium Thulium Ytterbium Lutetium Hafnium Tantalum Tungsten Rhenium Osmium Iridium Platinum Gold Mercury (element) Thallium Lead Bismuth Polonium Astatine Radon
Francium Radium Actinium Thorium Protactinium Uranium Neptunium Plutonium Americium Curium Berkelium Californium Einsteinium Fermium Mendelevium Nobelium Lawrencium Rutherfordium Dubnium Seaborgium Bohrium Hassium Meitnerium Darmstadtium Roentgenium Copernicium Nihonium Flerovium Moscovium Livermorium Tennessine Oganesson


Atomic number (Z)49
Groupgroup 13 (boron group)
Periodperiod 5
Element category  post-transition metal
Electron configuration[Kr] 4d10 5s2 5p1
Electrons per shell
2, 8, 18, 18, 3
Physical properties
Phase at STPsolid
Melting point429.7485 K ​(156.5985 °C, ​313.8773 °F)
Boiling point2345 K ​(2072 °C, ​3762 °F)
Density (near r.t.)7.31 g/cm3
when liquid (at m.p.)7.02 g/cm3
Triple point429.7445 K, ​~1 kPa[2]
Heat of fusion3.281 kJ/mol
Heat of vaporization231.8 kJ/mol
Molar heat capacity26.74 J/(mol·K)
Vapor pressure
P (Pa) 1 10 100 1 k 10 k 100 k
at T (K) 1196 1325 1485 1690 1962 2340
Atomic properties
Oxidation states−5, −2, −1, +1, +2, +3[3] (an amphoteric oxide)
ElectronegativityPauling scale: 1.78
Ionization energies
  • 1st: 558.3 kJ/mol
  • 2nd: 1820.7 kJ/mol
  • 3rd: 2704 kJ/mol
Atomic radiusempirical: 167 pm
Covalent radius142±5 pm
Van der Waals radius193 pm
Color lines in a spectral range
Spectral lines of indium
Other properties
Natural occurrenceprimordial
Crystal structurebody-centered tetragonal
Body-centered-tetragonal crystal structure for indium
Speed of sound thin rod1215 m/s (at 20 °C)
Thermal expansion32.1 µm/(m·K) (at 25 °C)
Thermal conductivity81.8 W/(m·K)
Electrical resistivity83.7 nΩ·m (at 20 °C)
Magnetic orderingdiamagnetic[4]
Magnetic susceptibility−64.0·10−6 cm3/mol (298 K)[5]
Young's modulus11 GPa
Mohs hardness1.2
Brinell hardness8.8–10.0 MPa
CAS Number7440-74-6
DiscoveryFerdinand Reich and Hieronymous Theodor Richter (1863)
First isolationHieronymous Theodor Richter (1864)
Main isotopes of indium
Iso­tope Abun­dance Half-life (t1/2) Decay mode Pro­duct
111In syn 2.8 d ε 111Cd
113In 4.28% stable
115In 95.72% 4.41×1014 y β 115Sn



Indium wetting glass
Indium wetting the glass surface of a test tube

Indium is a silvery-white, highly ductile post-transition metal with a bright luster.[8] It is so soft (Mohs hardness 1.2) that like sodium, it can be cut with a knife. It also leaves a visible line on paper.[9] It is a member of group 13 on the periodic table and its properties are mostly intermediate between its vertical neighbours gallium and thallium. Like tin, a high-pitched cry is heard when indium is bent – a crackling sound due to crystal twinning.[8] Like gallium, indium is able to wet glass. Like both, indium has a low melting point, 156.60 °C (313.88 °F); higher than its lighter homologue, gallium, but lower than its heavier homologue, thallium, and lower than tin.[10] The boiling point is 2072 °C (3762 °F), higher than that of thallium, but lower than gallium, conversely to the general trend of melting points, but similarly to the trends down the other post-transition metal groups because of the weakness of the metallic bonding with few electrons delocalized.[11]

The density of indium, 7.31 g/cm3, is also greater than gallium, but lower than thallium. Below the critical temperature, 3.41 K, indium becomes a superconductor. Indium crystallizes in the body-centered tetragonal crystal system in the space group I4/mmm (lattice parametersa = 325 pm, c = 495 pm):[10] this is a slightly distorted face-centered cubic structure, where each indium atom has four neighbours at 324 pm distance and eight neighbours slightly further (336 pm).[12] Indium has greater solubility in liquid mercury than any other metal (more than 50 mass percent of indium at 0°C).[13] Indium displays a ductile viscoplastic response, found to be size-independent in tension and compression. However it does have a size effect in bending and indentation, associated to a length-scale of order 50–100 µm,[14] significantly large when compared with other metals.


Indium has 49 electrons, with an electronic configuration of [Kr]4d105s25p1. In compounds, indium most commonly donates the three outermost electrons to become indium(III), In3+. In some cases, the pair of 5s-electrons are not donated, resulting in indium(I), In+. The stabilization of the monovalent state is attributed to the inert pair effect, in which relativistic effects stabilize the 5s-orbital, observed in heavier elements. Thallium (indium's heavier homolog) shows an even stronger effect, causing oxidation to thallium(I) to be more probable than to thallium(III),[15] whereas gallium (indium's lighter homolog) commonly shows only the +3 oxidation state. Thus, although thallium(III) is a moderately strong oxidizing agent, indium(III) is not, and many indium(I) compounds are powerful reducing agents.[16] While the energy required to include the s-electrons in chemical bonding is lowest for indium among the group 13 metals, bond energies decrease down the group so that by indium, the energy released in forming two additional bonds and attaining the +3 state is not always enough to outweigh the energy needed to involve the 5s-electrons.[17] Indium(I) oxide and hydroxide are more basic and indium(III) oxide and hydroxide are more acidic.[17]

A number of standard electrode potentials, depending on the reaction under study,[18] are reported for indium, reflecting the decreased stability of the +3 oxidation state:[12]

−0.40 In2+ + e ↔ In+
−0.49 In3+ + e ↔ In2+
−0.443 In3+ + 2 e ↔ In+
−0.3382 In3+ + 3 e ↔ In
−0.14 In+ + e ↔ In

Indium metal does not react with water, but it is oxidized by stronger oxidizing agents such as halogens to give indium(III) compounds. It does not form a boride, silicide, or carbide, and the hydride InH3 has at best a transitory existence in ethereal solutions at low temperatures, being unstable enough to spontaneously polymerize without coordination.[16] Indium is rather basic in aqueous solution, showing only slight amphoteric characteristics, and unlike its lighter homologs aluminium and gallium, it is insoluble in aqueous alkaline solutions.[19]


Indium has 39 known isotopes, ranging in mass number from 97 to 135. Only two isotopes occur naturally as primordial nuclides: indium-113, the only stable isotope, and indium-115, which has a half-life of 4.41×1014 years, four orders of magnitude greater than the age of the universe and nearly 30,000 times greater than that of natural thorium.[20] The half-life of 115In is very long because the beta decay to 115Sn is spin-forbidden.[21] Indium-115 makes up 95.7% of all indium. Indium is one of three known elements (the others being tellurium and rhenium) of which the stable isotope is less abundant in nature than the long-lived primordial radioisotopes.[22]

The stablest artificial isotope is indium-111, with a half-life of approximately 2.8 days. All other isotopes have half-lives shorter than 5 hours. Indium also has 47 meta states, among which indium-114m1 (half-life about 49.51 days) is the most stable, more stable than the ground state of any indium isotope other than the primordial. All decay by isomeric transition. The indium isotopes lighter than 115In predominantly decay through electron capture or positron emission to form cadmium isotopes, while the other indium isotopes from 115In and greater predominantly decay through beta-minus decay to form tin isotopes.[20]



Kristallstruktur Chrom(III)-chlorid
InCl3 (structure pictured) is a common compound of indium.

Indium(III) oxide, In2O3, forms when indium metal is burned in air or when the hydroxide or nitrate is heated.[23] In2O3 adopts a structure like alumina and is amphoteric, that is able to react with both acids and bases. Indium reacts with water to reproduce soluble indium(III) hydroxide, which is also amphoteric; with alkalis to produce indates(III); and with acids to produce indium(III) salts:

In(OH)3 + 3 HCl → InCl3 + 3 H2O

The analogous sesquichalcogenides with sulfur, selenium, and tellurium are also known.[24] Indium forms the expected trihalides. Chlorination, bromination, and iodination of In produce colorless InCl3, InBr3, and yellow InI3. The compounds are Lewis acids, somewhat akin to the better known aluminium trihalides. Again like the related aluminium compound, InF3 is polymeric.[25]

Direct reaction of indium with the pnictogens produces the gray or semimetallic III–V semiconductors. Many of them slowly decompose in moist air, necessitating careful storage of semiconductor compounds to prevent contact with the atmosphere. Indium nitride is readily attacked by acids and alkalis.[26]


Indium(I) compounds are not common. The chloride, bromide, and iodide are deeply colored, unlike the parent trihalides from which they are prepared. The fluoride is known only as an unstable gaseous compound.[27] Indium(I) oxide black powder is produced when indium(III) oxide decomposes upon heating to 700 °C.[23]

Other oxidation states

Less frequently, indium forms compounds in oxidation state +2 and even fractional oxidation states. Usually such materials feature In–In bonding, most notably in the halides In2X4 and [In2X6]2−,[28] and various subchalcogenides such as In4Se3.[29] Several other compounds are known to combine indium(I) and indium(III), such as InI6(InIIICl6)Cl3,[30] InI5(InIIIBr4)2(InIIIBr6),[31] InIInIIIBr4.[28]

Organoindium compounds

Organoindium compounds feature In–C bonds. Most are In(III) derivatives, but cyclopentadienylindium(I) is an exception. It was the first known organoindium(I) compound,[32] and is polymeric, consisting of zigzag chains of alternating indium atoms and cyclopentadienyl complexes.[33] Perhaps the best-known organoindium compound is trimethylindium, In(CH3)3, used to prepare certain semiconducting materials.[34][35]


In 1863, the German chemists Ferdinand Reich and Hieronymous Theodor Richter were testing ores from the mines around Freiberg, Saxony. They dissolved the minerals pyrite, arsenopyrite, galena and sphalerite in hydrochloric acid and distilled raw zinc chloride. Reich, who was color-blind, employed Richter as an assistant for detecting the colored spectral lines. Knowing that ores from that region sometimes contain thallium, they searched for the green thallium emission spectrum lines. Instead, they found a bright blue line. Because that blue line did not match any known element, they hypothesized a new element was present in the minerals. They named the element indium, from the indigo color seen in its spectrum, after the Latin indicum, meaning 'of India'.[36][37][38][39]

Richter went on to isolate the metal in 1864.[40] An ingot of 0.5 kg (1.1 lb) was presented at the World Fair 1867.[41] Reich and Richter later fell out when the latter claimed to be the sole discoverer.[39]


The s-process acting in the range from silver to antimony

Indium is created by the long-lasting (up to thousands of years) s-process (slow neutron capture) in low-to-medium-mass stars (which range in mass between 0.6 and 10 solar masses). When a silver-109 atom (the isotope that comprises approximately half of all silver in existence) catches a neutron, it undergoes a beta decay to become cadmium-110. Capturing further neutrons, it becomes cadmium-115, which decays to indium-115 by another beta decay. This explains why the radioactive isotope is more abundant than the stable one.[42] The stable indium isotope, indium-113, is one of the p-nuclei, the origin of which is not fully understood; although indium-113 is known to be made directly in the s- and r-processes (rapid neutron capture), and also as the daughter of very long-lived cadmium-113, which has a half-life of about eight quadrillion years, this cannot account for all indium-113.[43][44]

Indium is the 68th most abundant element in Earth's crust at approximately 50 ppb. This is similar to the crustal abundance of silver, bismuth and mercury. It very rarely forms its own minerals, or occurs in elemental form. Fewer than 10 indium minerals such as roquesite (CuInS2) are known, and none occur at sufficient concentrations for economic extraction.[45] Instead, indium is usually a trace constituent of more common ore minerals, such as sphalerite and chalcopyrite.[46][47] From these, it can be extracted as a by-product during smelting.[48] While the enrichment of indium in these deposits is high relative to its crustal abundance, it is insufficient, at current prices, to support extraction of indium as the main product.[45]

Different estimates exist of the amounts of indium contained within the ores of other metals.[49][50] However, these amounts are not extractable without mining of the host materials (see Production and availability). Thus, the availability of indium is fundamentally determined by the rate at which these ores are extracted, and not their absolute amount. This is an aspect that is often forgotten in the current debate, e.g. by the Graedel group at Yale in their criticality assessments,[51] explaining the paradoxically low depletion times some studies cite.[52][48]

Production and availability

Indium world production
World production trend[53]

Indium is produced exclusively as a by-product during the processing of the ores of other metals. Its main source material are sulfidic zinc ores, where it is mostly hosted by sphalerite.[48] Minor amounts are probably also extracted from sulfidic copper ores. During the roast-leach-electrowinning process of zinc smelting, indium accumulates in the iron-rich residues. From these, it can be extracted in different ways. It may also be recovered directly from the process solutions. Further purification is done by electrolysis.[54] The exact process varies with the mode of operation of the smelter.[8][48]

Its by-product status means that indium production is constrained by the amount of sulfidic zinc (and copper) ores extracted each year. Therefore, its availability needs to be discussed in terms of supply potential. The supply potential of a by-product is defined as that amount which is economically extractable from its host materials per year under current market conditions (i.e. technology and price).[55] Reserves and resources are not relevant for by-products, since they cannot be extracted independently from the main-products.[48] Recent estimates put the supply potential of indium at a minimum of 1,300 t/yr from sulfidic zinc ores and 20 t/yr from sulfidic copper ores.[48] These figures are significantly greater than current production (655 t in 2016).[56] Thus, major future increases in the by-product production of indium will be possible without significant increases in production costs or price. The average indium price in 2016 was US$240/kg, down from US$705/kg in 2014.[57]

China is a leading producer of indium (290 tonnes in 2016), followed by South Korea (195 t), Japan (70 t) and Canada (65 t).[56] The Teck Resources refinery in Trail, British Columbia, is a large single-source indium producer, with an output of 32.5 tonnes in 2005, 41.8 tonnes in 2004 and 36.1 tonnes in 2003.

The primary consumption of indium worldwide is LCD production. Demand rose rapidly from the late 1990s to 2010 with the popularity of LCD computer monitors and television sets, which now account for 50% of indium consumption.[58] Increased manufacturing efficiency and recycling (especially in Japan) maintain a balance between demand and supply. According to the UNEP, indium's end-of-life recycling rate is less than 1%.[59]


Dell axim LCD under microscope
A magnified image of an LCD screen showing RGB pixels. Individual transistors are seen as white dots in the bottom part.

In 1924, indium was found to have a valued property of stabilizing non-ferrous metals, and that became the first significant use for the element.[60] The first large-scale application for indium was coating bearings in high-performance aircraft engines during World War II, to protect against damage and corrosion; this is no longer a major use of the element.[54] New uses were found in fusible alloys, solders, and electronics. In the 1950s, tiny beads of indium were used for the emitters and collectors of PNP alloy-junction transistors. In the middle and late 1980s, the development of indium phosphide semiconductors and indium tin oxide thin films for liquid-crystal displays (LCD) aroused much interest. By 1992, the thin-film application had become the largest end use.[61][62]

Indium(III) oxide and indium tin oxide (ITO) are used as a transparent conductive coating on glass substrates in electroluminescent panels.[63] Indium tin oxide is used as a light filter in low-pressure sodium-vapor lamps. The infrared radiation is reflected back into the lamp, which increases the temperature within the tube and improves the performance of the lamp.[62]

Indium has many semiconductor-related applications. Some indium compounds, such as indium antimonide and indium phosphide,[64] are semiconductors with useful properties: one precursor is usually trimethylindium (TMI), which is also used as the semiconductor dopant in II–VI compound semiconductors.[65] InAs and InSb are used for low-temperature transistors and InP for high-temperature transistors.[54] The compound semiconductors InGaN and InGaP are used in light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and laser diodes.[66] Indium is used in photovoltaics as the semiconductor copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), also called CIGS solar cells, a type of second-generation thin-film solar cell.[67] Indium is used in PNP bipolar junction transistors with germanium: when soldered at low temperature, indium does not stress the germanium.[54]

Indium wire
Ductile indium wire

Indium wire is used as a vacuum seal and a thermal conductor in cryogenics and ultra-high-vacuum applications, in such manufacturing applications as gaskets that deform to fill gaps.[68] Indium is an ingredient in the gallium–indium–tin alloy galinstan, which is liquid at room temperature and replaces mercury in some thermometers.[69] Other alloys of indium with bismuth, cadmium, lead, and tin, which have higher but still low melting points (between 50 and 100 °C), are used in fire sprinkler systems and heat regulators.[54]

Indium is one of many substitutes for mercury in alkaline batteries to prevent the zinc from corroding and releasing hydrogen gas.[70] Indium is added to some dental amalgam alloys to decrease the surface tension of the mercury and allow for less mercury and easier amalgamation.[71]

Indium's high neutron-capture cross-section for thermal neutrons makes it suitable for use in control rods for nuclear reactors, typically in an alloy of 80% silver, 15% indium, and 5% cadmium.[72] In nuclear engineering, the (n,n') reactions of 113In and 115In are used to determine magnitudes of neutron fluxes.[73]

Biological role and precautions

GHS pictograms The exclamation-mark pictogram in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)
GHS signal word Warning
H302, H312, H332, H315, H319, H335
P261, P280, P305+351+338[74]
NFPA 704
Flammability code 0: Will not burn. E.g., waterHealth code 2: Intense or continued but not chronic exposure could cause temporary incapacitation or possible residual injury. E.g., chloroformReactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g., liquid nitrogenSpecial hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
A video on indium lung, an illness caused by indium exposure

Indium has no metabolic role in any organism. In a similar way to aluminium salts, indium(III) ions can be toxic to the kidney when given by injection.[75] Indium tin oxide and indium phosphide harm the pulmonary and immune systems, predominantly through ionic indium,[76] though hydrated indium oxide is more than forty times as toxic when injected, measured by the quantity of indium introduced.[75] Radioactive indium-111 (in very small amounts on a chemical basis) is used in nuclear medicine tests, as a radiotracer to follow the movement of labeled proteins and white blood cells in the body.[77][78] Indium compounds are mostly not absorbed upon ingestion and are only moderately absorbed on inhalation; they tend to be stored temporarily in the muscles, skin, and bones before being excreted, and the biological half-life of indium is about two weeks in humans.[79]

People can be exposed to indium in the workplace by inhalation, ingestion, skin contact, and eye contact. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has set a recommended exposure limit (REL) of 0.1 mg/m3 over an eight-hour workday.[80]


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External links

Boron group

The boron group are the chemical elements in group 13 of the periodic table, comprising boron (B), aluminium (Al), gallium (Ga), indium (In), thallium (Tl), and perhaps also the chemically uncharacterized nihonium (Nh). The elements in the boron group are characterized by having three electrons in their outer energy levels (valence layers). These elements have also been referred to as the triels.Boron is classified as a typical non-metal while the rest, with the possible exception of nihonium, are considered post-transition metals. Boron occurs sparsely, probably because bombardment by the subatomic particles produced from natural radioactivity disrupts its nuclei. Aluminium occurs widely on earth, and indeed is the third most abundant element in the Earth's crust (8.3%). Gallium is found in the earth with an abundance of 13 ppm. Indium is the 61st most abundant element in the earth's crust, and thallium is found in moderate amounts throughout the planet. Nihonium is never found in nature and therefore is termed a synthetic element.

Several group 13 elements have biological roles in the ecosystem. Boron is a trace element in humans and is essential for some plants. Lack of boron can lead to stunted plant growth, while an excess can also cause harm by inhibiting growth. Aluminium has neither a biological role nor significant toxicity and is considered safe. Indium and gallium can stimulate metabolism; gallium is credited with the ability to bind itself to iron proteins. Thallium is highly toxic, interfering with the function of numerous vital enzymes, and has seen use as a pesticide.

Control rod

Control rods are used in nuclear reactors to control the fission rate of uranium and plutonium. They are composed of chemical elements such as boron, silver, indium and cadmium that are capable of absorbing many neutrons without themselves fissioning. Because these elements have different capture cross sections for neutrons of varying energies, the composition of the control rods must be designed for the reactor's neutron spectrum. Boiling water reactors (BWR), pressurized water reactors (PWR) and heavy water reactors (HWR) operate with thermal neutrons, while breeder reactors operate with fast neutrons.

Copper indium gallium selenide

Copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS) is a I-III-VI2 semiconductor material composed of copper, indium, gallium, and selenium. The material is a solid solution of copper indium selenide (often abbreviated "CIS") and copper gallium selenide. It has a chemical formula of CuIn(1-x)Ga(x)Se2 where the value of x can vary from 0 (pure copper indium selenide) to 1 (pure copper gallium selenide). CIGS is a tetrahedrally bonded semiconductor, with the chalcopyrite crystal structure, and a bandgap varying continuously with x from about 1.0 eV (for copper indium selenide) to about 1.7 eV (for copper gallium selenide).


Gallium is a chemical element with symbol Ga and atomic number 31. Gallium in its solid state is slightly blue; however in its liquid state it becomes silvery white. Gallium is soft enough to be cut with shears however; if too much force is applied Gallium may fracture conchoidally. It is in group 13 of the periodic table, and thus has similarities to the other metals of the group, aluminium, indium, and thallium. Gallium does not occur as a free element in nature, but as gallium(III) compounds in trace amounts in zinc ores and in bauxite. Elemental gallium is a liquid at temperatures greater than 29.76 °C (85.57 °F) (above room temperature, but below the normal human body temperature of 37 °C (99 °F), hence, the metal will melt in a person's hands).

The melting point of gallium is used as a temperature reference point. Gallium alloys are used in thermometers as a non-toxic and environmentally friendly alternative to mercury, and can withstand higher temperatures than mercury. The alloy galinstan (70% gallium, 21.5% indium, and 10% tin) has an even lower melting point of −19 °C (−2 °F), well below the freezing point of water.

Since its discovery in 1875, gallium has been used to make alloys with low melting points. It is also used in semiconductors as a dopant in semiconductor substrates.

Gallium is predominantly used in electronics. Gallium arsenide, the primary chemical compound of gallium in electronics, is used in microwave circuits, high-speed switching circuits, and infrared circuits. Semiconducting gallium nitride and indium gallium nitride produce blue and violet light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and diode lasers. Gallium is also used in the production of artificial gadolinium gallium garnet for jewelry. Gallium is considered a technology-critical element.

Gallium has no known natural role in biology. Gallium(III) behaves in a similar manner to ferric salts in biological systems and has been used in some medical applications, including pharmaceuticals and radiopharmaceuticals.

Ibritumomab tiuxetan

Ibritumomab tiuxetan, sold under the trade name Zevalin, is a monoclonal antibody radioimmunotherapy treatment for relapsed or refractory, low grade or transformed B cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a lymphoproliferative disorder. The drug uses the monoclonal mouse IgG1 antibody ibritumomab (pronounced as ) in conjunction with the chelator tiuxetan, to which a radioactive isotope (either yttrium-90 or indium-111) is added. Tiuxetan is a modified version of DTPA whose carbon backbone contains an isothiocyanatobenzyl and a methyl group.

Indium(III) bromide

Indium(III) bromide, (indium tribromide), InBr3, is a chemical compound of indium and bromine. It is a Lewis acid and has been used in organic synthesis.

Indium(III) fluoride

Indium(III) fluoride or indium trifluoride is the chemical compound composed of indium and fluorine with the formula InF3. It has a rhombohedral crystal structure identical to that of rhodium(III) fluoride


It is formed by the reaction of indium(III) oxide with hydrogen fluoride or hydrofluoric acid.

Indium(III) fluoride is used in the synthesis of non-oxide glasses. It is also used as a catalyst for the addition of trimethylsilyl cyanide (TMSCN) to aldehydes to form cyanohydrins.

Indium(III) oxide

Indium(III) oxide (In2O3) is a chemical compound, an amphoteric oxide of indium.

Indium(III) sulfate

Indium(III) sulfate (In2(SO4)3) is a sulfate salt of the metal indium. It is a sesquisulfate, meaning that the sulfate group occurs 11/2 times as much as the metal. It may be formed by the reaction of indium, its oxide, or its carbonate with sulfuric acid. An excess of strong acid is required, otherwise insoluble basic salts are formed.

As a solid indium sulfate can be anhydrous, or take the form of a pentahydrate with five water molecules or a nonahydrate with nine molecules of water. Indium sulfate is used in the production of indium or indium containing substances. Indium sulfate also can be found in basic salts, acidic salts or double salts including indium alum.

Indium-111 WBC scan

The indium white blood cell scan, is a nuclear medicine procedure in which white blood cells (mostly neutrophils) are removed from the patient, tagged with the radioisotope Indium-111, and then injected intravenously into the patient. The tagged leukocytes subsequently localize to areas of relatively new infection. The study is particularly helpful in differentiating conditions such as osteomyelitis from decubitus ulcers for assessment of route and duration of antibiotic therapy.In imaging of infections, the gallium scan has a sensitivity advantage over the indium white blood cell scan in imaging osteomyelitis (bone infection) of the spine, lung infections and inflammation, and in detecting chronic infections. In part, this is because gallium binds to neutrophil membranes, even after neutrophil death, whereas localization of neutrophils labeled with indium requires them to be in relatively good functional order. However, indium leukocyte imaging is better at localizing acute (i.e., new) infections, where live neutrophils are still rapidly and actively localizing to the infection, for imaging for osteomyelitis that does not involve the spine, and for locating abdominal and pelvic infections.

Both the gallium scan and indium-111 white blood cell imaging may be used to image fever of unknown origin (elevated temperature without an explanation). However, the indium leukocyte scan will localize only to the approximately 25% of such cases which are caused by acute infections, while gallium is more broadly sensitive, localizing to other sources of fever, such as chronic infections and tumors. Gallium may be a better choice for spleen study because gallium does not normally accumulate in the spleen.

Indium (111In) altumomab pentetate

Indium (111In) altumomab pentetate (INN) (USP, indium In 111 altumomab pentetate; trade name Hybri-ceaker) is a mouse monoclonal antibody linked to pentetate which acts as a chelating agent for the radioisotope indium-111. The drug is used for the diagnosis of colorectal cancer.

Indium (111In) capromab pendetide

Indium (111In) capromab pendetide (trade name Prostascint) is used to image the extent of prostate cancer. Capromab is a mouse monoclonal antibody which recognizes a protein found on both prostate cancer cells and normal prostate tissue. It is linked to pendetide, a derivative of DTPA. Pendetide acts as a chelating agent for the radionuclide indium-111. Following an intravenous injection of Prostascint, imaging is performed using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).Early trials with yttrium (90Y) capromab pendetide were also conducted.

Indium (111In) igovomab

Indium (111In) igovomab (trade name Indimacis-125) was a mouse monoclonal antibody for the diagnosis of ovarian cancer.Linked to the chelating agent DTPA and labelled with Indium-111, it was used for imaging (radio-immuno scintigraphy) of the cancer. The drug is no longer available.

Indium (111In) satumomab pendetide

Indium (111In) satumomab pendetide (trade name OncoScint CR103) is a mouse monoclonal antibody which is used for cancer diagnosis. The antibody, satumomab, is linked to pendetide, a derivative of DTPA. Pendetide acts as a chelating agent for the radionuclide indium-111.

Indium lung

Indium lung is a rare occupational lung disease caused by exposure to respirable indium in the form of indium tin oxide. It is classified as an interstitial lung disease (diffuse parenchymal lung disease).

Indium phosphide

Indium phosphide (InP) is a binary semiconductor composed of indium and phosphorus. It has a face-centered cubic ("zincblende") crystal structure, identical to that of GaAs and most of the III-V semiconductors.

Indium tin oxide

Indium tin oxide (ITO) is a ternary composition of indium, tin and oxygen in varying proportions. Depending on the oxygen content, it can either be described as a ceramic or alloy. Indium tin oxide is typically encountered as an oxygen-saturated composition with a formulation of 74% In, 18% O2, and 8% Sn by weight. Oxygen-saturated compositions are so typical, that unsaturated compositions are termed oxygen-deficient ITO. It is transparent and colorless in thin layers, while in bulk form it is yellowish to grey. In the infrared region of the spectrum it acts as a metal-like mirror.

Indium tin oxide is one of the most widely used transparent conducting oxides because of its two main properties: its electrical conductivity and optical transparency, as well as the ease with which it can be deposited as a thin film. As with all transparent conducting films, a compromise must be made between conductivity and transparency, since increasing the thickness and increasing the concentration of charge carriers increases the material's conductivity, but decreases its transparency.

Thin films of indium tin oxide are most commonly deposited on surfaces by physical vapor deposition. Often used is electron beam evaporation, or a range of sputter deposition techniques.

Indium trihydride

Indium trihydride is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula (InH3)n (also written as ([InH3])n or InH3). It is a covalent network solid, and as such, it is insoluble in all solvents. Moreover, it is unstable at standard temperature and pressure. It is a group 13 hydride.

Isotopes of indium

Indium (49In) consists of two primordial nuclides, with the most common (~ 95.7%) nuclide (115In) being measurably though weakly radioactive. Its spin-forbidden decay has a half life of 4.41×1014 years.

The stable isotope 113In is only 4.3% of naturally occurring indium. Among elements with a known stable isotope, only tellurium and rhenium similarly occur with a stable isotope in lower abundance than the long-lived radioactive isotope. Other than 115In, the longest-lived radioisotope is 111In, with a half-life of 2.8047 days. All other radioisotopes have half-lives less than a day. This element also has 47 isomers, the longest-lived being 114m1In, with a half-life of 49.51 days. All other meta-states have half-lives less than a day, most less than an hour, and many measured in milliseconds or less.

Indium-111 is used medically in nuclear imaging, as a radiotracer nuclide tag for gamma camera localization of protein radiopharmaceuticals, such as In-111-labeled octreotide, which binds to receptors on certain endocrine tumors (Octreoscan). Indium-111 is also used in indium white blood cell scans, which use nuclear medical techniques to search for hidden infections.

Indium compounds

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