Gallium chemical element

Gallium chemical element

Gallium, a soft-touch metal with a silver color, is used primarily in electrical and semiconductor circuits and light emitting diodes (LEDs), and is also used in high-temperature thermometers, Barometers, and in the manufacture of certain drugs , And in nuclear medicine tests.

Gallium is never present in nature as a free element, and it cannot be found in any of the minerals in a significant amount, but it can be found in small quantities in some compounds, such as zinc ores or bauxite, and gallium weighs about 0.0019% of the Earth’s crust.
Gallium is obtained as a by-product in the processes of obtaining aluminum and zinc, and Australia, Russia, France and Germany are the largest producers of gallium.

Some facts about gallium

  • Atomic number (number of protons inside the nucleus): 31.
  • Atomic symbol (on the general periodic table of elements): GA.
  • Atomic weight (average weight of the atom): 69,723.
  • Density: 5.91 g / cm3.
  • Physical state at room temperature: solid.
  • Melting temperature: 85.57
    degrees Fahrenheit, 29.76 degrees Celsius.
  • Boiling point: 3,999 degrees Fahrenheit, 2,204 degrees Celsius.
  • Number of isotopes: (atoms of the same element with a different number of neutrons): 24.

Gallium is a unique element

Gallium is located in the general periodic table of elements in the boron family (group 13), which includes boron semi-metal (B), and metal such as: aluminum (AL), gallium, indium (In), and thallium (TI), and all of these five elements have Three electrons at its outer energy level.

Gallium is a post-transition metal, which is a metallic element that lies between transition minerals, and (non-metallic) minerals in the periodic table, and post-transition minerals have some traits of transitional elements, but they tend to be smoother in texture, poorer in electrical conductivity, and post-transition minerals Some elements of the boron family include: aluminum, indium, and thallium, as well as tin (Sn), lead (Pb), and bismuth (Bi).

Gallium has some unique properties. Although it is solid at room temperature (about 22 ° C or 77 ° F), it is still fine, as you can easily cut it with a knife. In addition, it has a very low melting point (about 29.76 ° C or 85.57 °). Fahrenheit) less than 10 degrees, over room temperature; So if you hold a mass of gallium in your hands, it will melt under the influence of your hand temperature, and if you leave it again, it will return to its solid state.

Although its melting point is low, the boiling point of gallium is somewhat high, and it amounts to about 3,999 Fahrenheit or 2,204 Celsius, which makes it the largest element ratio between its boiling and melting point, and at low temperatures the gallium becomes brittle solid, and it can be easily broken like The glass, which is shattered with sharp corners (conch), does not follow the normal levels while shattering (shattering with random levels or surfaces).

Gallium uses

Gallium is primarily used in electronics, and in fact about 95% of gallium production is used in the arsenic (GaAs) industry, a compound that is used in microwave, infrared, semiconductor circuits, blue and violet LEDs, and is used in the manufacture of panels Solar energy, the gallium nitride compound, is also used as a semiconductor in bluray technologies, mobile phones, and touch sensors for touch keys.

Gallium is easily associated with many minerals, and is commonly used in the alloying industry that melts at low temperatures. It is one of those four minerals that include: (mercury, rabidium, cesium), which are present in the liquid state at a temperature close to room temperature, Gallium is among the four least reactive and toxic. So it’s the most safe, environmentally friendly option. To be used in the manufacture of high-temperature thermometers, Barometers, and heat transfer systems, whether they are refrigeration or heating devices.

It is difficult to deal with liquid gallium, yet it sticks to glass, or leather, and most other materials except (graphite, quartz, teflon), and liquid gallium expands when it freezes; So it cannot be stored in glass containers, and gallium is also used in some medicines, as it is used in some radioactive materials, such as: radioactive isotope (Ga-67), which is used in nuclear medicine to detect any infections, infection, or cancerous cells in the body, Gallium nitrate is used in the manufacture of many drugs, and is also used in the treatment of (hypercalcemia), a disease that may cause the growth of bone tumors. It has also been suggested that it be used in the treatment of some cancers, infectious diseases, and inflammatory diseases, however Exposure to large quantities of gallium may lead to irritation of the chest or throat, and inhalation of its smoke may lead to some very serious medical conditions.

Gallium discovery

The element was discovered for the first time, by the French chemist (Paul-Emily Lyric de Boisboudran) in 1875 AD, as he had been studying the spectra of chemical elements for 15 years, and spectra are the lines produced by chemical elements when heated to high temperatures, and because each element has a group Of the distinct lines or spectra, that method has become adopted in the definition of chemical elements, and the discovery of new ones, and Emily has questioned the possibility of element (31) in zinc ore, and the atomic number of zinc is (30), and is located next to gallium in the periodic table For the elements, and in August 1875 AD, Emily discovered tiny quantities of gallium using his spectrometer, and wrote in a report on that, that the spectrum of the new element was composed of convergent lines that were easy to see and also violet.

A year after discovering the element, (Emily) was able to obtain gallium through electrolysis of gallium hydroxide in potassium hydroxide, and Emily had tons of zinc ore that he brought in by miners for his research, but he barely extracted those tons A few grams of pure gallium, and (Emily) called the gallium the new element, after the Latin name for France (Gallia).

Do you know

  • Gallium cannot be placed in glass containers; Because it expands to about 3.1% of its volume when it freezes.
  • In the pure image of gallium, its samples are characterized by a pulsating silver color, while in the solid state they are distinguished by a gray-blue color.
  • Another advantage of gallium is that it can be super-cooled easily (supercooling is: the material is cooled to a temperature lower than its freezing temperature, without going through the solid state).
  • About 95% of the consumption of gallium in electronic industries, and arsenic and gallium nitride represent about 98% of the consumption of the United States for gallium.
  • Gallium is used in nuclear bombs. Maintains the stability of the crystal structure.
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