Indium Blog

An introduction to Indium Tri-Chloride

  • Indium

  • Indium tri-chloride (chemical formula InCl3), also referred to as Indium (III) Chloride (since the indium atom is in the +3 oxidation state) is the most prevalent indium compound after indium oxide.

    This is easy enough to understand: Chlorides are great "carriers" in the chemical industry, and the payload they deliver is, in this case the indium atom, accessible through a chemical reaction, does not need the much higher energy required when you start from metallic indium. No melting required.

    There are a variety of manufacturing processes that produce this material, and the main distinguishing feature is the density of the final material. Thus, Indium Corporation makes basically two grades: Type A and Type H.

    Type A is a snowflake-like material. It's a "fluffy" powder with a snow-white appearance - meaning it reflects light across the visual spectrum and no visual wavelengths get absorbed.

    Type H is more dense and granular. Its microstructure is powder with a much higher density and the microparticles trap some light between them, resulting in a slightly off-white color.

    Why the difference in densities? It affects the usable reaction rates which are defined by our customers' process. Sometimes you need tight control of the reaction kinetics, and the density of that indium payload can play a large part in your particular synthesis reaction.

    Indium chloride plays a large part in various industries -- it's most commonly used as a precursor to make MOCVD materials. But it's also found usage in quantum dot production, battery manufacturing, useful compounds for catalysis, and more.

    Most university researchers prefer to source this material through their catalog vendor of choice, since they are already getting all their other process chemicals from there. That's great -- we like those guys too since they buy from us as well. But when it's time to scale-up and you need more than 100gm of material, you should pick up the phone and call us!