Indium (In)

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Indium 49In114.82

Indium was discovered in 1863 by Ferdinand Reich and Hieronymous Richter at Freiberg, Germany.

[Named after the indigo line in its spectrum]

French: indium
German: indium
Italian: indio
Spanish: indio

Description: Indium is a soft, silvery-white metal, and has one of the longest liquid range of all the elements. It is stalbe in air and with water; it dissolves in acids. Indium is used in low-melting alloys in safety devices. Indium arsenide and indium antomonide have uses in transistors and thermistors.



Indium single crystal properties

State: single crystal
Crystal structure: tetragonal
Production method: Bridgeman
Standard size: diameter 7mm
thickness 3mm
Orientation: (001)
Orientation accuracy: <2°, <1°, <0.4° or <0.1°
Polishing: as cut, <0.1µm
Roughness of surface:  
Purity: 99.9999%
Typical analysis (ppm): C 3
H < 1
O 9
N < 5
Cu 1.60
Fe 1.80
Ni < 1
Pb 0.30
Si 0.30

Ga, Hf and Ta are below the detection limit

Materials properties

Density: 7.31 g/cm3
Melting point: 156.17 °C / 429.32 °K
Boiling point: 2079.85 °C / 2353 °K
Molar volume: 15.71 cm3
Thermal conductivity: 81.6 [300 K] Wm-1K-1
Coefficient of linear thermal expansion: 33 x 10-6 K-1
Electrical resistivity: 8.37x 10-8 [293 K] Wm
Mass magnetic susceptibility: -7.0 x 10-9(s) kg-1m3
Young's modulus: 10.6 GPa
Rigidity modulus: 3.68 GPa
Bulk modulus: n.a. GPa
Poisson's ratio: 0.45
Radii: In3+ 92; atomic 163; covalent 150
Electronegativity: 1.78 (Pauling); 1.49 (Allred); 3.1 eV (absolute)
Effective nuclear charge: 5.00 (Slater); 8.47 (Clementi); 9.66 (Froese-Fischer)
Number of Isotopes (incl. nuclear isomers): 59
Issotope mass range: 102 -> 132
Crystal structure, (cell dimentions / pm), space group tetragonal
X-ray diffraction: mass absorption coefficients: CuKα 243 (µ/r) / cm2g-1
MoKα 29.3 (µ/r) / cm2g-1
Neutron scattering length: 0.4065 b/10-12 cm
Thermal neutron capture cross-section: 194 sa / barns


Biological data

Biological role: none, but acts to stimulate metabolism
Toxic intake: 30 mg
Lethal intake: LD50 (sulfate, oral, rat)= c. 1200 mg kg-1
Hazards: Indium is moderately toxic b yingestion and affects the liver, heart and kidneys. It may have teratogentic effects
Level in humans  
Blood: n.a., but low
Bone: n.a.
Liver: n.a.
Muscle: c. 0.015 p.p.m.
Daily dietary intake: n.a. but low
Total mass of element in average [70 kg] person: c. 0.4 mg


Geological data

MineralFormulaDensityHardnessCrystal apperance
Indite FeIn2S4 4.67 4.5 cub., met. white


Chief ore: It is obtained as a by-product of zinc and lead smelting.
World production: 75 tonnes/year
Main mining areas: see zinc and lead
Reserves: >1500 tonnes
Specimen: available as foil, granules, pieces, powder, rod, shot or wire. CARE !


Sun: 44.7 (relative to H = 1 x 1012)
Earth's crust: 0.049 p.p.m.
Residence time:  
Classification: n.a.
Oxidation state: III

Source: Emsley, J. (1998) The Elements (3rd Edition)

Overview of elements with access to our shop

1 18
2 13 14 15 16 17
Li Be B C
Na Mg 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Al Si P S
K Ca Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Zn Ga Ge As Se
Rb Sr Y Zr Nb Mo
Ru Rh Pd Ag Cd In Sn Sb Te I
Cs Ba La Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg Tl Pb Bi
Ce Pr Nd
Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb Lu

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