Boron Family in the Periodic Table

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About Boron Family

The name Boron has come from the Arabic word, ‘buraq’ which is referred to as the borax name. Boron belongs to the 13th group in the p-block element. The 13th group elements can be given as aluminium, boron, gallium, thallium, and indium. All these are metallic in nature except boron, whereas it is a metalloid. Also, all of them have 3 electrons in the outermost shell with the electronic configuration of ns2np1. There are two oxidation states (+1 and +3) of the boron family.


Boron Family Explained

Boron is a non-metal, whereas aluminium, which is the second element, is a metal. Indium, gallium, and titanium are almost metallic in nature. Also, aluminium is one of the essential members of the boron family, having an atomic number of 13 with the chemical symbol is ‘Al.’ It is very expensive to form aluminium because, for the electrolysis of one mole of aluminium, we need three moles of electron and therefore a huge amount of energy is used.

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Occurrence of Boron Family

Boron can be found in limited quantities. Mostly, it is a product of the barrage of subatomic particles that are created from the radioactivity characteristic. On our planet, aluminium is readily available. Also, it is the third most copious element present outside of the Earth (8.3%).


Gallium can be found on the earth including a wealth of 13 parts per one molecule. Indium has also been considered as the 61st richest element in the covering of the world. At the same time, Thallium is scattered in smaller amounts all over the planet. Ununtrium is not available naturally, and therefore, it has been named as a synthetic element.


Physical Properties of Group 13 Elements

Let us look at the physical properties of the Boron family, as listed below:

  • Indium has a lesser nuclear radius compared to Thallium. This is due to the lanthanide compression.

  • As we move down the group, the +1 oxidation state turns out to be steadier than that of +3 states. This is primarily due to the inert pair impact.

  • Boron holds a high melting point, and this is due to the icosahedral structure. Gallium has the lowest melting point in the boron family.

  • All the elements of the boron family blaze in oxygen at high temperatures raising M2O3.

  • Aluminium is an amphoteric compound. It means the metal disintegrates in weakened mineral acids and in the sodium hydroxide (aqueous).

  • If we move down the group, the acidic nature of hydroxides reduces.

  • Boric acid is also an extremely delicate monobasic acid.

Chemical Properties of Group 13 Elements

The dissociation of group 13 elements needs a lot of energy. This is due to the compounds formed by the Group 13 elements with oxygen are thermodynamically inert.


Also, boron chemically acts as a non-metal. However, the remaining elements exhibit metallic properties. Why does this happen? Because a large portion of the irregularities, which is seen in the properties of the group 13 elements will be attributed to the expansion in Zeff (an Effective Nuclear Charge). This emerges from the atomic charge's weakened protection by the filled subshells of (n − 1) d10 and the (n − 2) f14.


Instead of shaping the metallic grid with the delocalized valence electrons, Boron frames the special aggregates, containing multicenter bonds. This includes the metal borides, where boron attaches to the other boron iotas. This arrangement forms the three-dimensional bunches or systems with consistent geometric structures.


All the neutral compounds of group 13 elements can be said as the electron lacking elements and act as Lewis acids. Whereas, the trivalent halides of the heavier elements shape halogen-connected dimers, consist of the electron-match bonds, as opposed to the delocalized electron-lacking bonds, which are typical for the diborane.


Their oxides can break down in weakened acids, in spite of the fact that gallium and aluminium oxides are amphoteric. The elements of group 13 never react with the hydrogen atom due to the valency of hydrogen is one, to that of the boron family, as three. The trihalides of group 13 elements are the strong Lewis acids because they have the tendency to produce the compounds with the electron-pair donors, which are the Lewis bases.


Applications of the Boron Family

  • We can use Boron commonly in fiberglass, and it also finds usage in the ceramics market. We can use it in the making of pots, vases, plates, and more because of its greater insulating properties.

  • Aluminium is utilized frequently as a part of electrical gadgets, construction materials, and particularly as a transmitter in links. We can also use it in vessels and apparatuses for cooking and safeguarding the food materials. The absence of aluminium reactivity with food items makes it helpful for canning, especially.

  • The aluminium compound is a part of alloys that we use primarily for making the lightweight bodies used for flying machines.

  • Gallium arsenide is a common part of enhancers, semiconductors, solar cells, and more.

  • We can also use Gallium amalgams for huge dental purposes. Gallium ammonium chloride finds common use in the leads in transistors. A notable use of gallium is in LED lighting.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Explain about the Group 13 Elements, Boron Family?

The group 13 elements contain six elements in total. They are listed as follows:

  • Aluminium (Al),

  • Boron (B),

  • Gallium (Ga),

  • Thallium (Tl), 

  • Indium (In), and

  • Element 113.

This element (element 13) gets the name of ununtrium [Uut]. The most common property of the group is each one of the elements contains three electrons in the nuclear structure's outer shell.


In this group, Boron is the lightest of all the elements, and it is a non-metal. Surprisingly, the other elements in the group are brilliant white metals. And, these elements have been alluded likewise to as triads and icosagens.

2. Why Aluminium Doesn’t React with Water?

A protected layer of Al₂O₃ is formed because of which it does not react with water. This process is also known as anodising.


Gallium: atomic number - 31, chemical formula - Ga, has the second-lowest melting point after mercury. Also, it can persist in a liquid phase at a higher temperature compared to the other substances. Gallium is industrially very important as it forms Gallium arsenide, which converts light into electricity directly.


Indium is one of the p-block elements having an atomic number 49. Also, Indium is a soft, malleable metal simply like gallium. Indium is soluble in the acids, but it does not react with oxygen at room temperature. It is also used for increasing the metal’s strength and in making alloys.

3. Give Some Common Properties of Boron Family?

  • Nature of oxides changes down the group.

  • Covalent are hydrolysed by water, being in trivalent states.

4. What is Boron?

It is the icosagens’ first member with the symbol ‘B.’

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