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The abundance of the Group 13 elements is given in [link] . Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust and is found in a wide range of minerals. While boron is not as common it is also found in a range of borate minerals. In contrast, gallium, indium, and thallium are found as impurities in other minerals. In particular indium and thallium are found in sulfide or selenide mineral rather than oxides, while gallium is found in both sulfides (ZnS) and oxides (bauxite). Although indium and thallium minerals are known, they are rare: indite (FeIn 2 S 4 ), lorandite (TlAsS 2 ), crookesite (Cu 7 TlSe 4 ).

Abundance of Group 13 elements.
Element Terrestrial abundance (ppm)
B 10 (Earth’s crust), 20 (soil), 4 (sea water)
Al 82,000 (Earth’s crust), 100,000 (soil), 5 x 10 -4 (sea water)
Ga 18 (Earth’s crust), 28 (soil), 30 x 10 -6 (sea water)
In 0.1 (Earth’s crust), 0.01 (soil), 0.1 x 10 -6 (sea water)
Tl 0.6 (Earth’s crust), 0.2 (soil), 10 x 10 -6 (sea water)


The naturally abundant isotopes of the Group 13 elements are listed in [link] . Thallium has 25 isotopes that have atomic masses that range from 184 to 210. Thallium-204 is the most stable radioisotope, with a half-life of 3.78 years.

Abundance of the major isotopes of the Group 13 elements.
Isotope Natural abundance (%)
Boron-10 19.9
Boron-11 80.1
Aluminum-27 100
Gallium-69 60.11
Gallium-71 39.89
Indium-113 4.3
Indium-115 95.7
Thallium-203 29.52
Thallium-205 70.48

The Group 13 elements offer potential as NMR nuclei ( [link] ). In particular 11 B and 27 Al show promise for characterization in both solution and solid state.

Isotopes of Group 13 elements for NMR spectroscopy.
Isotope Spin Natural abundance (%) Quadrupole moment (10 -30 m 2 ) NMR frequency (MHz) at a field of 2.3488 T Reference
Boron-10 3 19.58 8.459 -10.746 BF 3 .Et 2 O
Boron-11 3 / 2 80.42 4.059 -32.084 BF 3 .Et 2 O
Aluminum-27 5 / 2 100 14.66 -26.057 Al(NO 3 ) 3
Gallium-69 3 / 2 60.4 17.1 -24.003 Ga(NO 3 ) 3
Gallium-71 3 / 2 39.6 10.7 -30.495 Ga(NO 3 ) 3
Indium-113 9 / 2 4.28 79.9 -21.866 In(NO 3 ) 3
Indium-115 9 / 2 95.72 81.0 -21.914 In(NO 3 ) 3

Industrial production

Borax is mined as a mixture of Na 2 B 4 O 7 .4H 2 O and Na 2 B 4 O 7 .10H 2 O. Acidification gives boric acid, B(OH) 3 , which can be reduced with sodium amalgam (Na/Hg) to give amorphous boron. Pure boron can be prepared by reducing boron halides (e.g., BF 3 and BCl 3 ) with hydrogen at high temperatures. Ultrapure boron, for the use in semiconductor industry, is produced by the decomposition of diborane (B 2 H 6 ) and then further purified with the zone melting or Czochralski processes.

The only two economic sources for gallium are as byproduct of aluminum and zinc production. Extraction during the Bayer process followed by mercury cell electrolysis and hydrolysis of the amalgam with sodium hydroxide leads to sodium gallate. Electrolysis then gives gallium metal.

The lack of indium mineral deposits and the fact that indium is enriched in sulfides of lead, tin, copper, iron and zinc, makes the zinc production the main source for indium. The indium is leached from slag and dust of zinc production. Up until 1924, there was only about a gram of isolated indium on the planet, however, today worldwide production is currently greater 476 tons per year from mining and a 650 tons per year from recycling. This massive increase in demand is due to applications in LCD displays and solar cell applications.

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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waht is hydrating power of lithium carbonates
Mahar Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry of the main group elements. OpenStax CNX. Aug 20, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11124/1.25
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