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Gallium ( Ga )

Material Information

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General Description:  

Discovered in 1875 by P.E. Lecoq de Boisbaudran in Paris, France.

One of four metals which can be liquid at room temperature, gallium has the longest liquid range of any metal (2175C). Below its melting point, it is a soft, silvery white metal which is stable in both air and water. Gallium, along with indium and thallium which follow gallium in their group in the periodic table, is only found as a minor constituent of various minerals and has an abundance of 18 ppm in the earth's crust. Extraction of the element is achieved by electrolytic reduction in aqueous solution. Gallium is used in the semiconductor industry due to its semiconductor properties of alloys formed with phosphorus, arsenic and antimony. It is also used in the manufacture of light emitting diodes and microwave equipment.

Before Gallium was discovered in 1875, its existence along with many of its physical and chemical properties were accurately predicted by Dimitri Mendeleev as a result of his work on the periodic table of the elements.

   

Atomic Properties

Atomic number 31
Atomic radius - Goldschmidt ( nm ) 0.135
Atomic weight ( amu ) 69.72
Crystal structure Orthorhombic
Electronic structure Ar 3d1O 4s2 4p1
Ionization potential No. eV
1 5.99
2 20.51
3 30.71
4 64.0
Natural isotope distribution Mass No. %
69 60
71 40
Photo-electric work function ( eV ) 4.2
Thermal neutron absorption cross-section ( Barns ) 3.1
Valences shown 2, 3

Electrical Properties

Electrical resistivity @20C ( µOhmcm ) 15.5
Temperature coefficient @0-100C ( K-1 ) 0.004
Superconductivity critical temperature ( K ) 1.08

Mechanical Properties

Material condition Polycrystalline
Hardness - Mohs 1.5-2.5
Poisson's ratio 0.47
Tensile modulus ( GPa ) 9.81

Physical Properties

Boiling point ( C ) 2205
Density @20C ( g cm-3 ) 5.904
Melting point ( C ) 29.8

Thermal Properties

Coefficient of thermal expansion @0-100C ( x10-6 K-1 ) 18.3
Latent heat of evaporation ( J g-1 ) 3984
Latent heat of fusion ( J g-1 ) 80.1
Specific heat @25C ( J K-1 kg-1 ) 330
Thermal conductivity @0-100C ( W m-1 K-1 ) 33-41
All information and technical data are given as a guide only. Although every effort has been made to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty is given as to its completeness or accuracy.

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