Indium Explained | #chemistry

Another rad video from Thoisoi2 below. The crunching sound of Indium is really strange and I’m curious how easy it would be to draw with the gallium liquid alloy. And who knew such an otherwise soft and malleable material would be useful for touchscreen technology – fun stuff!

So, today I want to tell you about a very interesting metal – Indium. It’s in the third group of the periodic table of chemical elements, below gallium.
Indium is unusual because it is the softest metal that you can actually hold in your hands. Lithium is softer that indium, but because of its high activity, lithium will form caustic alkali in hands and oxidize in air. In appearance, indium is shiny and does not tarnish in air. Due to the high softness, indium can be scratched even with a fingernail, you can cut a piece of it off with a regular construction knife.
If you take a piece of indium and a piece of gallium and rub them against each other, then at the point of contact of the two metals a liquid alloy of indium, gallium, will start to form, having a composition of 75.5% of gallium and 24.5% of indium.
The melting point of this alloy is about 15 degrees Celsius and this alloy remains liquid at room temperature. This alloy can very well moisten a glass, forming a beautiful mirror. By the way, in some cars headlights mirrors are covered with indium metal! If you moisten a cotton swab with this alloy, then we would get a metallic pen, with which you can draw conductive lines on the paper. In order to demonstrate you the most interesting property of indium, I decided to cast a thin plate from it.
Pure indium has a melting point of 157 degrees Celsius, it’s possible to easily cast different ingots from this metal. The resulting indium sheet is very soft. Since indium is incredibly soft, you can easily bite a piece of it off.
My teeth are not very strong, so it took me a bit of effort to bite off a piece of indium. Biting indium is not the most pleasant experience, it can be compared to chewing solid tar or soft plastic. Narrow strips of indium make them easier to bite. Also, if you try to bend an indium ingot you can hear a kind of crunching.
This crunch is caused by deformation of crystals inside the metal. The name indium is derived from the beautiful indigo colour, in which it paints the burner flames during combustion in air.
Pure indium is used as a component in many alloys, indium compounds are used in electronics, particularly in the manufacture of touch screens.

Read more about Indium on Wikipedia.

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.