Indium (new) – Periodic Table of Videos

published on July 9, 2020

Indium is a really fascinating materialand we're going to show you why it wascalled indium how you can move thingsout of it and how you can do somereactions and Neil's going to have somereal fun Neil has quite a few samples ofindium because it is a slightly

Poisonous element and people give it tohim rather than having to dispose of itthemselves and so he has selection ofpieces of rods and wires and a reallyquite nice thick wire that wasoriginally coiled and he showed how you

Can just pull the coil apart and eventhis thick wire is so bendy that whenyou put your hands together it justbends with almost no effort at allindium wire it's very very malleablevery very soft and very easy to form

Into shapes but what was really nice wasthey made a ball of this wire and thenthumped it with a hammer you know Neilhas a big selection of hammers andproduced quite a nice flat sheet thesepieces of wire essentially cold molded

Together and as soon as I saw the sheetI thought we should try and make animpression of a coinso I produced a British 20 pence piecewhich has a nice picture of Her Majestythe Queen and put it on the indium

And Neil hit it with a hammerof course he hit the side with not theQueen's picture on it out of respect andwe got a very nice impression of theQueen on the second attempt it was evennicer though he did bend my coin and

It's really remarkable how much detailcan be pressed into this soft metal youcan even see her earring I didn't knowthe Queen wore an earring I've neverlooked at her portraits in such detailthen because we have many viewers in the

United States we felt it was only rightto do an impression of an American coinso we chose 1/4 Neal conveniently hadone hanging on the wall of his officeand that also produced an impression butnot quite as beautiful as the impression

Of her Majesty but then it was time todo slightly more serious experiments andone of the things about indium and thereason why I've used it in my career isthat it has really quite a low meltingpoint just above a hundred and fifty

Degrees centigrade and it can be usedfor soldiering things we thereforewanted to demonstrate how easily you canmelt it so Neal put quite a large amountof indium into a boiling tube heated itup and you can watch it melting and then

When he melted he thought it was pity towaste the liquid metal he poured it intoa little mold and made a soft hemisphereof indium and once he got it out beingNeal he couldn't resist the hammer againand so he hammered it again almost flat

When I was using indium as solder for myresearch I was soldiering goldthermocouples thermocouples formeasuring very low temperature and Iremembered that when I was doing thissometimes the gold would melts because

The indium alloyed with the gold andcaused it to melt which of course ruinedthe thermocouple so I had a small pieceof gold thermocouple wire left I foundin my cupboard in here and I wanted Nealto dissolve it in his liquid indium

First of all we made a mistake becausewe forgot that there was varnish on thewire but he burnt that off and even sowe never got it to work I don't knowwhether I was particularly clumsy when Iwas a student using indium solder or we

Were doing something else wrong but itwas a bit of disappointment however thenext experiment was really good many ofyou may think that the element indiumwas named after the country India I'mhere in India in Mumbai what used to be

Called Bombay behind me is the gatewayto India because there lots of elementsnamed after countries or statescalifornium gallium germanium and so onin fact it turns out the indium wasnamed after a color the color indigo

Which is the sort of violet color thatyou see in rainbows when indium wasfirst discovered it was discoveredactually as a line in a spectrum ofviolet line before they had isolated anyof the metal so Neel decided that we

Should try and seed this violet colorthis indigo color and we tried toexperimentsthe first one was just to take acrucible with India minutes to heat theIndian map till it melted and then put a

Blowtorch on it that is ahigh-temperature gas flame and see whatwe could see and there was a really niceindigo color Brady was really excitedunfortunately that was just the time Ichose to go out of the room to a meeting

So I missed it you got it baby actuallythey didn't see the color straightawaybut they had to heat the Indian prettyhard and then the color appeared I thinkthe reason is that the color comes fromatoms not very many atoms in the gas

Phase so you've got to heat the Indianmap to a very high temperature and onceit is in the gas phase it is hot enoughfor the electrons to be excited in theatoms and then when these electronsreturn to their original level they give

Out light it is a characteristic ofindium that because of the energy levelsthat the light comes out that this verycharacteristic violet indigo color whichother elements don't produce so it wasquite easy for the German discoverers of

The element to notice that there wassomething new unusual this unusual linethen I suggested that Neal to trieddissolving indium in bromine the reasonbeing that most indium salts arecolorless and bromine is red so I

Thought it would look nicer on the videoit looked nice but the indium didn'tdissolve so it was a bit of adisappointing experiment so it was goodI wasn't there but Neal is a hugebeliever in nitric acid to dissolve

Almost anything except gold so he pouredconcentrated nitric acid on the indiumand was not disappointed great babblingbubbles of no2 the brown gas and theindium at least partly dissolved theindium is dissolving and making indium

Nitrate that's indium 3 plus ions andno3 minus ions we never isolated theindium nitrate but because I hadn't beenthere new thoughts he would try and showme the color again this time he tooksome wooden splints these are just very

Thin bits of wood and dipped it into thenitric acid solution which now containedindium ions and put that in the flameand you could see the nice indigo colorI'd never seen that before and so it wasreally quite an exciting first I still

Think the purple color of plutonium's 3salts a nicer but we can't do plutoniumin Neil's lab yet so indium is a goodsubstitute professor of many otherelements named after colours welliridium is named after its many coloured

Salts rather like the English wordiridescent and I believe that rhodium isalso named after the red colour of oneof its salts and I'm sure our viewerswill remind me of lots of other elementsthat are named after colours but I can't

Think of any immediately there's areally important use for indium which isin almost any sort of computer displayscreen which consists of liquid crystalsor some similar materials sandwichedbetween two pieces of glass obviously

You have to be able to see through theglass or you won't see the display butthe glass the inside surface of theglass has to conduct electricityotherwise you cannot activate the pixelsso what happens is that the glass is

Coatedwith a material called indium tin oxideI sent emails all over the university totry and find sample of glass with indiumtin oxide and they neil said i've got abig piece so i needn't have bothered i

Could have just as neil what you see isthere's a sheet of glass which has athin coating of indium tin oxide on oneside and not on the other if you take ameter that measures electricalresistance you can see that on the glass

Side doesn't conduct electricity at allon the other side where there's theindium tin oxide as you move the probesof the meter apart you can see theresistance goes up and down and it doesconduct electricity doesn't conduct it

Terribly well but it's transparent andit does conduct enough for displaysthere is quite a serious problem interms of sustainabilitywhere are the computer screens going tocome for your children your

Grandchildren because the supplies ofindium are beginning to run out so it'sreally very important that when youfinish with your LCD screen when youfinish with your computer yoursmartphone you should get it recycled so

People can begin to reclaim theseelements or you may find that when youget to your iPhone xx or iPhone 30 therewon't be enough indium to be put on thescreens obviously we try to bring you asmuch chemistry as possible here in our

Videos but if you really want to fillyour boots well why not check out thegreat courses plus have a look at this60 half-hour lessons with the GeorgetownUniversity expert all about chemistryeverything's here essentially it's

Guiding you through a full college-levelchemistry curriculum and this is justone of an ever growing library ofcourses they have covering all sorts ofsubjects you name it they're going tohave a no tests no homework just the

Lots of knowledge you can do them onyour computer tablet phone whatever fora free trial go to the great coursesplus comm slash periodic videos so theyknow you came from here should be on thescreen down in the description check

Them out people and now thanks to themfor supporting this video

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