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General Info
Atomic Symbol Atomic symbol::In
Atomic Number Atomic number::49
Atomic Weight Atomic weight::114.818 g/mol
Chemical series Poor Metals
Appearance Silvery-white solid
Group, Period, Block 13(IIIA),5,P
Electron configuration [Kr] 4d10, 5s2, 5p1
Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 18, 3
Electron shell indium.png
CAS number CAS number::7440-74-6
Physical properties
Phase solid
Density Density::7.31 g/ml
Melting point Melting point::429.75 K
Boiling point Boiling point::2345 K
Isotopes of Indium
iso NA half-life DT DE (MeV) DP
113In 4.3% 113In is stable with 64 neutrons.
115In 95.7% 4.41x1014 y β- 0.495 115Sn
All properties are for STP unless otherwise stated.

Indium is a chemical element part of the Aluminum family in Group 13 of the periodic table. Indium is a post-transition metal and is very rare. The Earth has been estimated to contain 0.1 ppm of indium. It is known for being a metal that is soft, ductile, malleable, and has a lustrous metallic.


This is Indium Wire

Indium is known for being a metal that is soft, ductile, malleable, and has a lustrous metallic. The color of this metal is a silvery white. Indium is also a liquid in a wide range of temperature, and it is able to wet glass. In the air and in water Indium stays stable, but it dissolves in acids. Indium ignites into a burning violet flame when heated above its melting point. [1]

Although it is not clear if Indium is toxic for humans, it has been proven to be moderately toxic metal by inhalation and a mildly toxic metal by ingestion. [2]


Indium is a rare element. The estimated amount of indium in the Earth's crust is around 0.1 parts per million. It is more abundant than silver or mercury, but not by much. The residue generated from the zinc ore processing is what mainly makes indium.[2]

Indium is rare, and does not occur in its native state. Indium is found in many ores such as Iron, Lead, Copper, Tin, and for the most part Zinc. Indium is almost never produced in the United States, but it does get imported from Canada, China, and Russia. [3]


Indium is needed in the production of alloys that are low-melting, typically with gallium. In the semiconductor industry for germanium transistors, thermistors, rectifiers, and photocells compounds of indium are used. Similar to mirrors made with silver, indium is coated on metals and evaporated onto glass to form the mirror. The mirror made with Indium is more corrosion resistant than that made of silver. Also, a well known form of indium are Indium-tin-oxide thin films, which are used for liquid crystal display (LCDs). [4] An important use of Indium is in making alloys, that are used in electronic devices and dental materials. Alloys containing Indium are used in aircraft parts to prevent the parts from reacting with the oxygen in the air. Indium is also capable of remaining soft and workable at very low temperatures, which is beneficial to those who use special equipment, that contains Indium, in temperatures near absolute zero.A popular use for Indium is in the manufacture of batteries and electronic devices.[2]


In 1863, German chemists Ferdinand Reich and Hieronymus Theodor Richter discovered Indium. They were searching in zinc ores for samples of the element thallium. While searching the sample they discovered a brilliant indigo line in its spectrum that displayed the existence of Indium. [5] The steps they took in discovering Indium. First, Ferdinand Reich roasted the ore to extract as much as he could of the sulfur. Then, with hydrochloric acid he dissolved the remaining material. After that, he examined the straw colored solid further by capturing the emission spectrum of that sample. Reich was color-blind and because of this he could not accurately interpret the information by himself. That is when he asked Chemist Hieronymus Richter, to investigate the flame colors that were produced. Richer recognized a brilliant indigo line, but the spectral line was not a match to any known element. This line allowed them to prove that a new element was discovered int their sample. They made a thorough study of its properties by isolating the metal by a lengthy series of precipitations. Finally, the element was given the name Indium, after its characteristic spectral line;"indi" came from the color indigo. [6]


A descriptive explanation on Indium


  1. Indium - In. Lenntech. Web. Accessed 15 October 2014. Author unknown.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Meera Senthilingam Chemistry in its element-Indium. Royal Society of Chemistry. Web. Accessed 15 October 2015. Author unknown.
  3. INDIUM. Chemistry Explained. Web. Accessed November 5, 2014. Author Unknown.
  4. Indium Element Facts. Chemicool. Web. Accessed October 15, 2014 Author Unknown.
  5. Gagnon, Steve. The Element Indium. Jefferson Lab. Web. Accessed November 5, 2014.
  6. Indium Element Facts. Chemicool. Web. Accessed November 5, 2014.Author Unknown.