• Chemistry 08.09.2008 No Comments

    Always fascinated with the look of liquid metal but not keen on burns from molten tin, i bought about 20grams of Gallium from eBay.
    Unfortunately it came in a glass vial, which is bad, because Gallium readily wets glass. So quite a bit stayed inside attached to the walls. The rest was liquid although it had a temperature below its meltingpoint of 302.9K (29.7°C). This was due to its tendency to supercool.

    The drop had an unattractive oxide layer on top which was removed by sucking the gallium out with a plastic syringe.

    Then some drops were placed on the cool side of a peltier element to solidify them.

    Gallium drops

    Gallium drops

    After discovering a recipe for an alloy that stays liquid down to -19°C that required Indium, i bought 8grams of Indium form eBay and mixed a small amount of the alloy.

    Only 1.44 grams of Galinstan were made, because i did not want to ‘waste’ so much Gallium and Indium.

    Details on the weight ratio can be found in US Patent #5508003.

    Gallium and Indium are important resources, mainly in the production of leds.  Those resources are getting rare. (For all germanspeakers: Interesting report on resources)

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