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Removal of oxides from galinstan (gallium indium tin eutectic alloy) by reaction with elemental aluminum.

The oxidization of GaInSn eutectic alloy leads to changes in physical properties due to the gallium oxide.  Gallium oxide is difficult to remove because its density is nearly identical to the alloy density.  We have developed a means of removing gallium oxide from a volume of the alloy by taking advantage of the oxidation potential relative to other elements.  The reaction results in elemental gallium and a metal oxide which has a density sufficiently different from the alloy to enable removal of the oxide material.  Current methods of removing gallium oxide from GaInSn alloy utilize the conversion to gallium chloride via exposure to warm hydrochloric acid or filtering.  Both result in changes to the alloy via the loss of material.  The new process requires no special equipment or corrosive chemicals and should preserve the original alloy ratio.  

No.: 
M-932

U.S. Department of Energy
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.

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