Encyclopedia of Geochemistry

1999 Edition
| Editors: Clare P. Marshall, Rhodes W. Fairbridge


  • Erich Schroll
  • Fernando Bea
  • Edward C. V. Butler
  • Peter van Calsteren
  • Nobumichi Shimizu
  • Dana T. Griffen
  • R. R. Barefoot
  • Mark A. Williamson
  • Carla W. Montgomery
  • Ian D. Clark
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-4496-8_9

Indium: Element and geochemistry

Indium was discovered 1863 by Reich and Richter in residues of sphalerite from Freiberg (Germany), by means of optical spectroscopy. It was named after its distinctive blue spectral lines. The chemical symbol is in. The physical properties are described in Table I1. Indium has two isotopes, 113, and 115. 115In is radioactive, decaying to 115Sn with a half-life of 5 × 1014 years. In nature, indium is monovalent and trivalent. It is chemically similar to Sn, more so than with Fe, Cd, Ga and Tl. Its electrochemical potential permits the reduction to native indium. In aqueous solution, In1+ ion is unstable. Indium III forms a number of inorganic and organic complex anions. Insoluble compounds are formed in neutral aqueous solutions, such as hydroxides, sulfides, carbonates, phosphates or arsenates. In (OH)3, precipitates at pH4.
Table I1

Physical constants of indium

Atomic number


Atomic weight


Isotopes and abundances (%)

 Mass No. 113





Ferrous Iron Isotope Fractionation Ferric Oxide Platinum Group Element Isotopic Equilibrium 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erich Schroll
  • Fernando Bea
  • Edward C. V. Butler
  • Peter van Calsteren
  • Nobumichi Shimizu
  • Dana T. Griffen
  • R. R. Barefoot
  • Mark A. Williamson
  • Carla W. Montgomery
  • Ian D. Clark

There are no affiliations available