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Indium trichloride, InCl3

Indium trichloride, InCl3, is prepared by the action of excess of chlorine upon indium, the lower chlorides, or a mixture of indium sesqui-oxide and carbon, the product being purified by distillation in a stream of carbon dioxide. It forms white, lustrous tablets, which do not volatilise appreciably at 440°. Volatilisation occurs slowly at 600.° The vapour density is 7.8, referred to air as unity, at 600° to 850°, corresponding to the molecular formula InCl3; but at higher temperatures dissociation occurs.

The density of the solid chloride is 4.0. The chloride is very deliquescent and dissolves readily in water, in which it is slightly hydrolysed; but the solution loses very little hydrogen chloride when evaporated at 100°.

The equivalent conductivities of aqueous solutions of indium trichloride at 25° are, according to Thiel, as follows (η = conc. in gram-equivalents per c.c.; v = dilution, in litres per gram equivalent: -

v0.333.3333.33333333
1000η3.00.300.030.0030.0003
λ10.230.550.6101.0225.0


Indium trichloride forms double salts with the chlorides of the alkali metals, ammonium, and platinum. The salt K3InCl6.2H2O crystallises in the ditetragonal, bipyramidal class of the tetragonal system; and the ammonium, rubidium, and caesium salts of the type X2InCl5.H2O are isomorphous with one another, crystallising in the bipyramidal class of the rhombic system. The platinum salt has the composition 2InCl3.5PtCl4.36H2O. Indium trichloride also forms an addition-product with ammonia, and with pyridine forms the compound InCl3.3C5H5N, m.p. 253°.

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