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Group 13 Elements – The Boron Family


Table of Content

Introduction to Group 13 Elements – The Boron Family

The inconceivable periodic table houses a few families and groups of elements, each having its own particular properties. Boron group elements incorporate any of the six chemical elements forming Group 13 (IIIa) of the periodic table. The elements are boron (B), aluminum (Al), gallium (Ga), indium (In), thallium (Tl), and element 113 (briefly named ununtrium [Uut]). The trademark property of the group is that every one of the elements has three electrons in the peripheral shell of their nuclear structure. Boron, the lightest of these elements, is non-metal, yet alternate individuals from the group are brilliant white metals. These elements have likewise been alluded to as icosagens and triads.

The Boron Family

Fig. 1: The Boron Family


Boron is an element that is scantily found, most likely as a result of the barrage by subatomic particles created from characteristic radioactivity, disturbs its cores. Aluminum happens generally over the planet, and for sure is the third most copious element in the Earth's outside (8.3%). Gallium is found in the earth with a wealth of 13 parts per molecule. Indium is the 61st richest element in the world's covering, and thallium is found in average amount all through the planet. Ununtrium is been never found in nature and thusly has been named a synthetic element.

Relative Abundance of Group 13 Elements

Fig. 2: Relative Abundance of Group 13 Elements

Abundances of elements in the Earth’s crusts

Fig. 3: Abundances of elements in the Earth’s crusts

Physical Properties


Elemental Symbol

Atomic Number (Z)

Molecular Mass (g/mol)

Melting Point °C

Standard Reduction Potential (V)

Ionization Energy (kJ/mol)

Outer shell Configuration







[He] 2s22p1








[Ne] 2s22p1








[Ar] 2s22p1








[Kr] 2s22p1








[Xe] 2s22p1

  • The nuclear radius of Tl is somewhat bigger than In because of lanthanide compression.

  • On moving down the group, +1 oxidation state turns out to be steadier than +3 states because of the inert pair impact.

  • The high melting point of boron is because of its icosahedral structure. In the boron family, gallium has the most minimal melting point.

  • The expected trend of diminishing values on moving down the group is not followed in case of ionization energies.

  • All elements blaze in oxygen at high temperatures framing M2O3. The reaction of aluminum with oxygen (known as thermite reaction) is unequivocally exothermic.

  • Aluminium is amphoteric. It disintegrates in weakened mineral acids and in sodium hydroxide (aqueous).

  • The acidic nature of hydroxides reduces on moving down the group.

  • Boric acid is an extremely delicate monobasic acid. It is unable in liberating a hydrogen particle yet acknowledges a hydroxyl particle. With the existence of cis-diol (mannitol, glycerol or sugars), boric acid carries on as a strong acid and can be titrated with NaOH within the sight of phenolphthalein indicator.

Chemical Properties

Dissociation of the group 13 elements requires a lot of energy since compounds of the group 13 elements with oxygen is thermodynamically inert. Boron acts as a nonmetal chemically, while its heavier congeners show metallic conduct. A large portion of the irregularities seen in the properties of the group 13 elements can be clarified by the expansion in Zeff that emerges from poor protecting of the atomic charge by the filled (n − 1) d10 and (n − 2) f14 sub shells. Rather than shaping a metallic grid with delocalized valence electrons, boron frames special aggregates that consist of multicenter bonds, including metal borides, in which boron is attached to other boron iotas to frame three-dimensional systems or bunches with consistent geometric structures.

Every neutral compound of the group 13 elements are electron lacking and act like Lewis acids. The trivalent halides of the heavier elements shape halogen-connected dimers that consist of electron-match bonds, as opposed to the delocalized electron-lacking bonds typical for diborane. Their oxides break down in weakened acids, in spite of the fact that the oxides of aluminum and gallium are amphoteric. None of the group 13 elements reacts specifically with hydrogen, and the inertness of the hydrides arranged by different courses diminishes as we move down the group. Rather than boron, the heavier group 13 elements frame a substantial number of complexes in the +3 oxidation state.

Acidic and basic character on moving down the group

Fig. 4: Acidic and basic character on moving down the group

Note: Boron halides don't shape dimers on the grounds that boron's size is so small to the point that it can't organize four huge- sized halide particles.

The trihalides of group 13 elements are strong Lewis acids. As an outcome of its solid Lewis acid character, BF3 is utilized as a catalyst in a few modern procedures. Anhydrous aluminum chloride is utilized as an impetus in a few organic reactions (Friedel - Craft's reaction).

Diagonal Relationship of Beryllium and Aluminum

Diagonal relationships in the periodic table

Fig. 5: Diagonal relationships in the periodic table

Beryllium and aluminum share a great deal of similitudes and this is known as diagonal relationship. Both Be2+ and Al3+ in hydrated condition, deliver [Be(H2O)4]2+ and Al(H2O)63 separately. At the point when reacted with water, both compounds create hydronium particles, making them somewhat acidic. Another similitude amongst aluminum and beryllium is that they are amphoteric, and their hydroxides are exceptionally basic. Both metals additionally react with oxygen to deliver oxide coatings fit for shielding different metals from corrosion. Both metals additionally react with halides that can go about as Lewis acids.

Applications of Boron Group

  • A regular utilization of Boron is in fiberglass. There has been a fast development in the market for borosilicate glass; most remarkable among its uncommon qualities is a much more noteworthy resistance to thermal expansion than normal glass.

  • Another commercially extending utilization of boron and its subordinates is in ceramics. A few boron compounds, particularly the oxides, have exceptional and profitable properties that have prompted to their substitution for different materials that are less helpful. Boron might be found in ceramic panhandles, pots, plates, vases, due to its insulating properties.

  • Aluminium is frequently utilized as a part of construction materials, electrical gadgets, particularly as a transmitter in links, and in apparatuses and vessels for cooking and safeguarding food. Aluminum's absence of reactivity with food items makes it especially helpful for canning.

  • Aluminium is a part of alloys utilized for making lightweight bodies for flying machine. Cars additionally fuse aluminum in their structure and body some of the time, and there are comparative applications in military gear and vehicles.

  • Gallium arsenide has been utilized as a part of semiconductors, enhancers, solar cells (for instance in satellites) and passage diodes for FM transmitter circuits.

  • Gallium amalgams are utilized for the most part for dental purposes. Gallium ammonium chloride is utilized for the leads in transistors. A noteworthy use of gallium is in LED lighting.

  • Indium might be found on platings, phosphors, bearing, display gadgets, warm reflectors, and atomic control bars. Indium tin oxide has found an extensive variety of utilizations, including glass coatings, solar panels, road lights, electrophoretic displays (EPDs), plasma display boards (PDPs), electroluminescent light displays (ELDs), electrochemical displays (ECs), sodium lights, field emission displays (FEDs), windshield glass and cathode ray tubes.

Selected Properties of Group 13 elements

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