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Article changed over to new Wikipedia:WikiProject Elements format by maveric149. Elementbox converted 14:50, 5 July 2005 by Femto (previous revision was that of 02:10, 23 May 2005).

Information Sources[edit]

Some of the text in this entry was rewritten from Los Alamos National Laboratory - Indium. Additional text was taken directly from USGS Indium Statistics and Information, from the Elements database 20001107 (via, Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (via and WordNet (r) 1.7 (via Data for the table was obtained from the sources listed on the main page and Wikipedia:WikiProject Elements but was reformatted and converted into SI units.

Replacment with zinc oxide?[edit]

CIGS solar cells (Cu(In,Ga)Se2) solar cells REQUIRE indium, there is no substitue. However, there are several types of transparent conducting glass, ITO (indium tinned oxide) and Al:ZnO (Aluminum doped zinc oxide). Therefore, indium can be replaced by Zinc Oxide in TV applications, however, it cannot replace indium in CIGS solar cells. The last sentence is very vague in this reguard, it seems to indicate that zinc oxide can replace indium in CIGS cells. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:29, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Refrence to properties as a mirror[edit]

Contrary to previous version, indium does not make a mirror that is "as good as silver" due to its much lower reflectivity. The reference provided in previous verison was also incorrect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:28, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

cost of indium[edit]

On the "Los Alamos National Laboratory" site it says: "The present cost of indium is about $1 to $5/g, depending on quantity and purity. "

This is far more expensive than it's said here.

According to my 2003-2004 Alfa Aesar (scientific supply) catalog, In prices range anywhere from US $1.5/g for 99.99% pure shot to $60 for a .23 g piece of very thin foil. I imagine industrial purchasers who would buy in large quantities and might not need super-high purity might be able to get it for less than $1/g.
Ah, here is an authoritative source: US Geological Survey It may be the source for the 2000 $188/kg number. Cost in 2003 was $170/kg and the estimated number for 2004 was $600/kg. It's not clear why the big jump from 2003 to 2004.
The "big jump" is probably due to increased demand from LCD manufacturers, who use indium-tin oxide as a transparent electrode. This is now one of the largest markets for indium.

This is true. The price for 99.99% pure indium jumped to over $1000/kg around 2005 due to the popularity of LCD screens, but has settled back to between $500 and $600 (, Feb. 2011). Of course, when you buy indium by the gram from a company that doesn't actually make it (Alfa Aesar), you will certainly pay more. Indium foil is a value added product and will cost significantly more than indium ingot because of such things as added processing, thickness tolerance, and preservation considerations (e.g. specialized packaging to prevent oxidation and contamination).

I would suggest that the value in the article is correct. Eric 18:00, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Recent prices of $700 to $1000/kg are reported on the Chinese metal industry news site In addition, the element collector's website has .9999 Indium available for just over $1/g as of 15-Feb-2006.

Boiling Point[edit]

I have changed the edit of to reduce the number of significant digits in the boiling point, and to make the K and °C numbers consistent. Both the Los Alamos page and the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics list the boiling point as 2072°C. I'm very doubtful of the 2072.2222°C number, unless you can provide a citation. Eight digits of precision for a temperature that high seems unlikely. Eric 20:44, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

It isn't all that hard to figure out that the original for that degrees Celsius figure was 3,762 °F, with a conversion carried to a ridiculous number of places. Gene Nygaard

Dietary claims[edit]

Removed the following from article:

However, even though these toxic claims can be made about the metallic form of indium, the claims do not apply to a biologically safe form of indium that supports endocrine function and other functions of the body. Please see U.S. Patent #6,007,847 at [1] It is reported to be one of the most phenomenal discoveries in medical science by some. Many professionals compare the importance of indium as a dietary supplement to the importance of the organic form of germanium (bis beta carboxyethyl germanium sesquioxide), which enhances oxygen levels in the body. Its importance is also compared to silica hydride, which is a negatively charged powedered hydrogen.

I don't know much about indium and dietary suppliments, but am quite skeptical. Please provide peer reviewed reference (not just pat. info). And the description of silicon hydride as negatively charged powedered hydrogen seems rather odd. Vsmith 03:57, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

  • The referenced patent consists of a way to administer indium by schpritzing an indium sulfide solution into your mouth. That's it. No claims of efficacy or any health benefits eaolson 00:27, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Dietary health claims are real[edit]

Effect of Indium on Mineral Absorption What does rare indium do, besides raising average mineral uptake 60 to 694%? Indium is a soft silvery super-metal discovered in 1850 that is found in an extremely dilute form in ocean water and earth ores.

Indium was first tested in 200 mice compared to 200 controls by Dartmouth Medical School's Dr. Henry A. Schroeder, J.J. Balassa, Marian Mitchner, M. Kanisawa, A.P. Nason, and W.H. Vinton in 1964-68; who reported that indium improved average mineral absorption in the glands 142%. Indium raised chromium in all organs average 333% (chromium helps regulate blood sugar). Indium users often report better sleep (pineal neurotransmitters), reduced headaches and anxiety ( as reported in research by Bonadio, Lyons and Marion). In the mice studies, indium also raised also raised average glandular manganese 94%, Zinc 79%, and Copper 61%. All of these are key trace minerals. Independent research conducted by indicates that indium acts as a magnet for trace minerals making them more biologically available.

Indium may improve alimentary assimilation of food and especially minerals. Over 1,000 human volunteers studied by patentee George Bonadio, and 1,300 lab animal studies over the past 30 years, suggest indium has dozens of health-giving qualities based on its ability to improve trace mineral assimilation.

Indium is reported to improve one's sense of overall well-being, mood, thinking and memory.

A study by the Austrian Morbus Altheimer Society using indium with music, massage and herbs reported 37% improvement in nervous system challenges in 24 patients in 30 days (compared to 8% in controls). Some people report experiencing restoration of hair color, and better hair growth. Dr. Lyons reported INDIUM may improve micro-circulation, lessen blood viscosity, enhance blood hemoglobin iron extending red blood cell life (and their oxygen capacity) from 90 to 120 days.

Indium is a surface antiseptic for skin, hands and utensils. Indium may enhance immunity and help speed the healing of cuts and burns (but do not use topically on broken skin). Indium may improve athletic performance by removing muscle lactic acid waste, enhancing endurance and recuperation. One report indicates that a retired racehorse fed indium, went out to win the next 6 races and set 2 new track records.

User:thomaslavoie —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 16:31, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

  • The above text appears to have been copied from [2]. Just a quick response to each of these claims:
  1. What's a "super-metal"?
  2. I can find no published study by Schroeder et al. Schroeder has done some work in the uptake of essential metals, though. Similarly, no published study by Bonadio et al, or even any published study by Bonadio [3]. Obviously "independent research" by a site calling itself the "world's greatest catalog" is untrustworthy.
  3. What "some people report" is unimportant. "Some people" report every possible improvement for every possible substance under the sun when it comes to the alternative medicine industry.
  4. I can't find this study by the Austrian Society. I assume "Altheimer" should be "Alzheimer's". The web page is in German. I'm not sure what "enchance blood hemoglobin iron" means. It made it more iron-y?
eaolson 00:47, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

The original study about indium: User:thomaslavoie


My Chemical Elements book says Indium is not very toxic when ingested, but can be if injected directly into the bloodstream. I will try to post a reference, but I do not have my books here.

Chemical Elements from Carbon to Krypton by David E Newton

Under Health Effects

The health effects of indium compounds are somewhat unusual. When taken by mouth, they are relatively harmless, when injected into the skin, however, they are very toxic.

Basing a claim of In being toxic because of InCl3 toxicity is like claiming Hydrogen is toxic because HCl is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:39, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Fusible Alloys with melting range of 123-125 C[edit]

I would like to know the possible composition of fusible alloys having the foll properties:

Melting Range: 123 - 125 C / Softening Range 120 - 122 C / Micro Hardness Less than 5 micro vickers @ 200 gms load

  • Why would you like to know these things? This is an encyclopedia page about indium. It sounds like you have a question best suited to library research. eaolson 15:18, 22 February 2006 (UTC)


What is the half-life of indium? The current text says 4×1010 years, but previously it stated 4×1014 years, which agrees with the value at Anybody have a definitive reference? Julesd 16:37, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

See references at Talk:Isotopes of indium, they all agree on 4.41(25)×1014 years for 115In. I think the 4×1010 refers to the halflife of the earlier mentioned thorium, not to indium. That whole sentence still could need some clarification. Femto 18:57, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
I thought the same thing about thorium, but according to its page, it has a half life of 1.4E10, not 4E10 years. eaolson 19:07, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Hum. It comes closer than the other value though. :) Looks like this has been 'fixed' by an IP and simply was wrong. (corrected the number, the sentence itself still needs clarification). Femto 19:23, 4 September 2006 (UTC)


In reference to: Indium ranks 61st in abundance in the Earth's crust at approximately 0.25 ppm [1], which means it is more than three times as abundant as silver, which occurs at 0.075 ppm [2].

It appears to me that 0.05 ppm is correct and 0.25 ppm is incorrect.

There's probably plenty of ambiguity in the words "abundance in the Earth's crust" so it's difficult to tell if the text from this wiki entry "Indium" is incorrect, but the original work by Taylor and Mclennan in 1985 ( Section 2.1) that is cited by the USGS ( puts the number for indium at 0.05 ppm, not the 0.25 ppm as found in the source referred to in the link --Doretoe (talk) 04:36, 13 July 2008 (UTC)


What abouts it new role in Surface tension-driven nanoelectromechanical relaxation oscillators? ArdClose (talk) 17:58, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Amount isolated[edit]

There seems to be a direct contradiction between two sections of the article:

Richter went on to isolate the metal in 1864.[5] At the World Fair 1867 a ingot of 500g was presented.


Up until 1924, there was only about a gram of isolated indium on the planet.

I suspect that the latter segment should read "about a kilogram", but the reference is hiding behind a paywall, so I can't verify either claim. PeterB (talk) 03:27, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Hm .. the 1 gram fact is echoed in several Google books, but I do doubt it. Maybe it refers to high-purity In. Can't check the paywalled article right now. Commented out the 1-gram part in the article. Further clarifications are welcome. Materialscientist (talk) 05:16, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

True Metal?[edit]

The article on Poor Metals includes Indium as one of them. Can Indium be a True metal and a Poor metal also? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jokem (talkcontribs) 14:48, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

It's not a good idea to use either term! Indium is very silver and malleable (a strip bends in the hand; it's very soft). It has the "look and feel" of a true metal, whatever its other properties are. Perhaps the answer is to simply take all this "poor" and "true" stuff out, and simply note its properties and let the reader apply his or her own judgement. It's a subjective thing anyway. I'll see what I can do in the article. SBHarris 15:34, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Never heard of "true metal" in science. "Poor metal" is often used; this term does not questions the structure of the material (i.e. its being a metal, in any sense) and only means that its conductivity is relatively low compared to most other metals. This is usually unrelated to the structure and is due to specific shape of the Fermi surface or low density of valence electrons (as in alkali metals). Materialscientist (talk) 06:48, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Indium comments[edit]

Indium's "cry", as it is commonly called, sounds more like a crunching sound.

Teck Cominco is now called Teck Metals.

An interesting property of indium is that it cold welds. Clean the oxide off two strips of indium with a bit of dilute HCl and press them together. They will instantly bond together; when pulled apart the bond will hold and the indium will tear next to the bond.


according to the DOE report on Critical Materials China is the worlds largest producer of Indium. Not Canada. I have no idea where the info for canada came from. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:04, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

You are right [4]. Materialscientist (talk) 14:19, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Damiankrol (talk) 15:10, 10 January 2016 (UTC) production data is much inaccurate, please look at these figures:


  • Characteristics
Why is it used in semiconductor industry?
Are there no English text books as reference
Aren't German/Russian OK? I think there should be some, but the Russian ones were added only after no English were found (I don't say there are no, I just haven't found); the German may be replaced (maybe, dunno) but isn't it OK? Science books are never ashamed of citing foreign language sources.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 15:39, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Creation and occurrence
The occurrence section is a little short
Merged Resources into it--R8R Gtrs (talk) 15:39, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
  • History
Is a little short
Added a little more facts, but the history of the element doesn't seem to be very exciting, and section summarizes it OK.
  • Applications
A lot need references
A lot added

A lot closer to B than to C-Class, but needs a few refs to get there. Re-rating for now, undo if disagree--R8R Gtrs (talk) 15:39, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

--Stone (talk) 12:31, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Now a lot of things have been improved now it is a B-Class article, but still for B+ or GA it has some points to have improved.--Stone (talk) 18:54, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Production or Resources?[edit]

I would like to add information about indium recycling rates citing a report summary from the UNEP. Not sure if I should add it to the Production section or the Resources section. Any thoughts on where that information might fit the best? Dvbyrne (talk) 16:00, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

I would put it into the production section.--Stone (talk) 20:58, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Attempt to balance or delete?[edit]

I'm looking for opinions on whether or not to modify the information presented below from 2007:

"The Indium Corporation, the largest processor of indium, claims that, on the basis of increasing recovery yields during extraction, recovery from a wider range of base metals (including tin, copper and other polymetallic deposits) and new mining investments, the long-term supply of indium is sustainable, reliable and sufficient to meet increasing future demands [3].

This conclusion also seems reasonable in light of the fact that silver, a less abundant element, is currently mined at approximately 18,300 tonnes per annum [4], which is 40 times greater than current indium mining rates."

Although indium is abundant in the earth's crust, more recent reports (from the USGS, UN Environmental Programme, USDOE, European Commision's joint research centre) highlight the scarce usable and projected supply of the metal. For example, the USGS points out that "Although the geochemical properties of indium are such that it occurs with other base metals—copper, lead, and tin—and to a lesser extent with bismuth, cadmium, and silver, most deposits of these metals are subeconomic for indium." ( Other reports highlight low recycling rates and the large and growing gap between supply and demand.

Any thoughts on how to approach this?


Dvbyrne (talk) 23:13, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

The USGS mentions those OTHER metals after mentioning that most indium comes from ZnS ores, in particular the major one sphalerite. 11 million tons a year of crude zinc is produced from this ore every year. Although indium contents in sphalerite are extremely variable, it's not quite as bad as the quoted 1 to 100 ppm (those are outside limits). The mean averages tend to be figures like 64 or 70 ppm. [5] Multiply the two figures together and you get a theoretical indium production from this source at roughly 700 tons/year, if all of it was extracted. Compare with world indium production now, which is less than 600 tons. So it's not as though the world is going to run out of indium. At some price, not a lot higher than current, supply will meet demand. SBHarris 01:19, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Attempt to balance or delete? (June 2012)[edit]

Based on what people have mentioned above and the fact that the reference for indium running out in 13 years comes from a 2007 article in *New Scientist* which is not considered a scholarly journal, the article is also behind a pay wall. As the article is out of date (we should only have 8 years left if it is correct), I cannot verify what it says, and the source is not know for high quality science I have removed that the sentence about indium running out in 8 years. If you want to put it back in please include a scholarly source as a reference. Lotu (talk) 01:53, 16 June 2012 (UTC)


Applications section and WP:UNDUE[edit]

Here is the ranked list of applications based on Ullmann's Encylopedia of Industrial Chemistry, sort of the gold standard for what is actually used for what (vs a lot of would-be "uses" that are in fact near negligible). Beginning with the largest apps (as of 1985): Low-melting alloys (12 tons/y) < Bearings < Dental alloys < Nuclear reactor control rods < Low-pressure sodium lamps < Electrical contacts < Alkaline dry batteries < Phosphors < Semiconductors < < Liquid crystal displays (7 tons/y). Since this Wiki article is pretty mature, I did not want to be too disruptive, but it seems that we have the applications section reflect this ranking and relegate niche uses to a subsection. Otherwise we risk accreting hobby-like applications. But I dont want to impose my own perspective too strongly. Also the Ullmann article is 28 years old.--Smokefoot (talk) 20:21, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

For 2007: Currently, more than 70 percent of indium consumed in the world is used in such thin-film products. Several companies in Southeast Asia have announced that they are not only opening new plants, but that they also are increasing the size of the glass to make bigger displays. from Tolcin, Amy C. "Mineral Yearbook 2007: Indium" (pdf). United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 200-02-03.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help) --Stone (talk) 20:54, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the update. I guess that Ullmanns is too old for this growing application. It seemed to me though that the application section could be tidied up with fewer primary refs. Best wishes, --Smokefoot (talk) 05:11, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
There is a lot to do in the applications sections. I will try to have a look into the Ullmann 7th edition from 2011.--Stone (talk) 09:19, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
I have the 2012 edition, but their uses list is for 1985, but the discussion is otherwise pretty contemporary.
The Kirk-Othmer might be a fall back solution? --Stone (talk) 21:04, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
The USGS tends to have excellent information for mineral resources on-line, and this includes a page on Indium. The latest available data is from 2010 [], and they state (p. 8): "ITO for FPDs accounts for 56 percent of indium consumption. About 14 percent of the total end use of indium is as metal and alloy shapes, solders, and pastes. Indium solder alloys are lead free and can substitute for lead-and-tin solders where there are concerns about lead toxicity. The remaining 30 percent of indium is used for electronic and miscellaneous applications (24 percent) and as thermal interface material (6 percent)" Note the graph on p. 7, the one that shows market prices. Prices really exploded around 2005, around the time when flatscren took off. (talk) 00:38, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
One step in cleaning up the applications section would be to create a section on III-V semiconductors. Here are some problems:


  • 1st bullet : ITO is a "minor application", I think.
  • 2nd bullet Indium nitride is used for nothing in the real world.
  • 3rd bullet: Copper-Indium- sulfide is used for nothing is the real world
  • 4th bullet is a restatement of second bullet
  • 5th bullet s a restatement of second bullet
  • 6th bullet is a major application but has no relationship to the section heading

Metal and alloys[edit]

  • 1st bullet "used in aluminium alloy sacrificial anodes" not mentioned in Ullmann's, probably not really an application.
  • 2nd bulletL "To bond gold electrical test leads to superconductors" this is a lab technique, not an application. Primary citaton.
  • 3rd bullet "calibration material for Differential scanning calorimetry" yet another ultra minor lab technique, not an app.
  • 4th bullet "gallium-indium-tin alloy" is a novelty with no applications
I wouldn't go that far. You can still buy metal thermometers that use the stuff and that's an application. Minor but real. [6]. SBHarris 04:02, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
My experience is that applications sections in the element articles often are often repositories for hoped-for, "science fiction" ideas and pet lab techniques, often supported by weak sources. Real applications are often or usually not very sexy. It may be a good idea for for the WikiProject Elements to re-review "applications section", with two goals in mind: (1) insisting on very high standards for references (WP:UNDUE) and (2) distinguish between applications vs techniques. --Smokefoot (talk) 13:36, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

Possible References[edit]

--Stone (talk) 21:04, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Indium article views on August 13, 2015[edit]

I decided to do some armchair sleuthing in response to the question from Double_sharp here. In July, this article was viewed about 400 times per day. There were a similar number of views per day in August, including August 12 and August 14, but on August 13, the article had over 130,000 views, which is close to what we'd expect in an entire year. From September 1 to today, article views returned to about 400 per day.

After some googling and baidu-ing, it seems like the indium-related event that caused this jump took place in China due to the sketchy Fanya (Pan-Asia) Metals Exchange. According to the initial paragraphs at [7] and [8], on August 11 a large group of investors who'd been "bamboozled" by a Ponzi-like investment tied to minor metals markets complained to local police in several large Chinese cities across multiple provinces. Based on what I can pick up from a google translation of this August 13 opinion piece, claims about perpetually increasing indium prices were the main incentive to attract these investors.

The police and Chinese judicial system didn't act to address the investors' complaints, so, on August 22, several of them flew from around the country to grab the founder/head of the metals exchange and rough him up a bit before delivering him to the police. The police let him go. There isn't much online about the investors' August 11 complaints, but there sure is a lot out there about their August 22 actions. That's human nature and the nature of the news I suppose.

I think it looks unusual that the opinion piece I linked to before from Futures Daily (期货日报) at has the word "Indium" ("铟") in quotes the first time it appears. My bet is that the original version of this opinion piece early on August 13 linked here to this Wikipedia article at that point, and then later on August 13, some editors at Futures Daily made the wise decision to remove the link. Flying Jazz (talk) 09:12, 18 September 2015 (UTC)

Unbalanced chemical equation[edit]

The equation:

In(OH)3 + 2 NaOH → 2 Na[InO2] + H2O

Is clearly incorrect since there is one indium on the left and two indium on the right. I can't find references to an InO2 "Indate" ion to verify whether this species can exist. Nick Hill (talk) 20:09, 28 December 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for catching that. The article is still evolving in terms of the chemistry aspects, probably because there really arent many folks who feel passionately about indium. The equation is not difficult to balance if you wish to try. There is not a lot of information on sodium indate, and that kind of term is used loosely by engineers and materials chemists, often ignoring hydration, degree of polymerization etc, so I just removed that section. Keep up the sleuthing. --Smokefoot (talk) 21:10, 28 December 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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  1. ^ "The Element Indium". It's Elemental. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  2. ^ "The Element Silver". It's Elemental. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  3. ^ "Indium and Gallium Supply Sustainability September 2007 Update" (pdf). 22nd EU PV Conference, Milan, Italy. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  4. ^ "Top World Silver Producers" (pdf). World Silver Survey 2007.