Gallium – A Rare Metal with Interesting Properties

Gallium:

Gallium was first forecasted by Dmitri Mendeleev in 1871.He was a Russian chemist and he named this metal as “eka-aluminium” on the basis of its position in periodic table. He predicted various properties of the element which keep up a correspondence to real gallium properties such as density, melting point, oxide character and bonding in chloride.
In 1875, Gallium was discovered by Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran. He was French chemist. He revealed it in an examination of sphalerite sample by its characteristics spectrum i.e. two violet lines.

gallium-ga-metal-that-melts

Properties of Gallium:

  • It is not found in nature.
  • It is easily obtained by smelting.
  • It has a brilliant silvery color.
  • It alloys with many metals.
  • Low melting point of just 29.76 °C (85.57 °F).
  • Ability to attack most other metals by diffusing into their metal lattice.

Uses:

  • It is used in small quantities as a plutonium-gallium alloy in the plutonium cores of nuclear bombs, to help stabilize the plutonium crystal structure.
  • It is used for microelectronics (gadgets like your phone, TV’s and even cars).
  • Gallium arsenide is used in microwave circuitry and infrared applications.

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