Gallium Element Number 31 Ga

Pure Gallium, when held in molten form it has a soft cool feel to it, both photos are the same piece of Ga.

Gallium is one of my favorite elements, because of Gallium's low melting point and low vapor pressure, making it fun and relatively safe to play with. Gallium is a metal in the same group as Indium. Gallium is not found in pure element form in nature, and can be extracted from Aluminum and Zinc ores.

Gallium has some really neat traits, Like water it expands when solidifies, 3.1%. Like glass it fractures conchoidally, It melts at 85.57F,  unlike M+M's it will melt in your hand. In fact Ga has the widest liquid range of any element. from 85.5-2999 WOW! Gallium creates alloys with many other elements, some really cool alloys have a Ga component. In- Ga- Sn melts at -2.2F,  Al-Ga alloy can react with water and release Hydrogen by preventing the Al from forming a protective oxide. Ga-Pu is used in weapons.  Ni-Mn-Ga is a magnetic shape memory alloy.

Gallium has a major use in semi conductors and diodes, Gallium Arsenic alloy is great for these uses and actually is what most Gallium ends up as. Gallium is also used as a dopant, (see my Germanium sample!!) 

One of my favorite uses of Gallium is in neutrino detection sites. one in Russia, known as the Soviet- American Gallium Experiment has 55 tons of Ga, and Gallex in Italy has 12 tons of watered Gallium 71. These sites are deep underground and are used to detect neutrinos. Neutrinos travel through miles of solid rock without reactions, and when solar neutrinos strike Gallium nuclei, or Gallium-71 they react and the resulting changes can be detected. One Gallium isotope is a positron emitter, and used in medical applications.

 Pure Gallium crystals with typical shapes. These were produced by melting the metal in hot water, then slow cooling for a few hours. Once the metal formed one crystal the others formed within minutes.

 Ga 31 metal  AW:69.723,  MP:85.6,  BP:3999,  D:5.91  Mohs:1.5

 Germanium Element Number 32 Ge

 Germanium is an element that resembles silicon and has a feel like glass or coal. Germanium has a low abundance, at around 50th in the earths crust. Germanium has the same trait as water Ga, Sb and Bismuth, as it expands a little when it freezes. Germanium has a few cool uses. many in electronics.

Germanium has uses as a semiconductor, in transistors and also diodes.I have replaced the Ge transistors in my CDV 700 board due to failures. Older components of Germanium had failures due to the metals unusual long random "screw dislocations" or,  a type of defect in the atomic "planes" sorta like a bunch of atoms are out of place in a spiral type formation. this can cause issues like shorts. sort like a ream of paper with some wrinkled sheets and a spiral twist. This metal also forms a material that can super conduct in electromagnetic fields with Uranium and Rhodium

Germanium can be zone refined to super ultra pure material, some crazy number like parts per 10 trillion. This makes it great for optics LEDs, solar cells, IR detection, X Ray diffraction, and gamma spectroscopy. Germanium is can be refined to one of the purest materials!

Germanium has a use as a catalyst in the manufacture of PET plastics. In the US it is not common because of the cost, but other countries like Japan have much  nicer plastic bottles for the extra cost of Germanium over Silicon. I always wondered why plastic bottles are so much cooler in some Japanese airports!!

Recently I have seen a bunch of Titanium jewelry with Germanium insets for some health uses. I guess that the Germanium is believed to emit something to the body and heal or balance it. Titanium makes some fine jewelry, and Germanium is quite pretty when cut into gem shapes, why not?

Germanium pieces, and Gallium doped Germanium semi conductor material, the Gallium doping caused the pits, a very rare material.

Ge 32 metal  AW:72.63,  MP:1720,  BP:5131,  D:5.3,  Mohs:6.0