Is Gallium Magnetic ? 5 Facts You Should Know !

Gallium is an element belongs to group 13 having atomic number 31 and some of its properties are similar to metals. Let us discuss magnetic property of gallium.

Gallium is a diamagnetic material. Gallium has one unpaired electron in its shell though experiences diamagnetism because the metallic bond associated with valence electrons are overlapped such that delocalized electrons somehow involved in various degree of pairing which makes gallium a diamagnetic.

Physicists found that gallium exhibit diamagnetism only in solid state. However in liquid state, gallium is paramagnetic because in liquid state a spontaneous magnetic moment occurs by ejecting the electrons from inner shell. Now, let us focus on some interesting facts of magnetic behavior of gallium.

Gallium magnetic properties

Gallium is a silvery soft metal which appears silvery white in liquid state and an excellent semiconductor. Let us list out magnetic properties exhibited by gallium.

Listed below are the magnetic properties of gallium:

  • Gallium is diamagnetic in solid form and paramagnetic in molten state.
  • The magnetic moment of liquid gallium appears and disappears in short time scale.
  • The magnetic susceptibility of gallium is a function of temperature which varies with the change in the state.
  • Gallium offers high magnetostriction.

Gallium can become permanent magnet if it is mixed with iron or any other permanent magnet material. The molar magnetic susceptibility of gallium is -21.6×10-6 cm3/mol.

Structure of β-gallium by Orci (CC BY-SA 3.0) from Wikimedia Commons

Magnetic permeability of gallium

The change in magnetic field inside the material with respect to applied magnetic field defines magnetic permeability. Let us know the value of magnetic permeability of gallium.

The estimated value of magnetic permeability of gallium alloy is 0.80×10-6 H/m. Generally, liquid metal yield high magnetic permeability whose electrical conductivity is also high. Hence, liquid gallium possesses high magnetic permeability than solid gallium.

Is gallium phosphide magnetic?

Gallium phosphide is an odorless compound which is an excellent semiconductor. Let us learn about magnetism exhibited by gallium phosphide.

Gallium phosphide is a diamagnetic compound as it is repelled by the magnetic field. The three valance electron of gallium bonded with five valance electrons of phosphorous obtaining zinc blende cubic structure where each atom is at the center of the tetrahedron contribute for GaP diamagnetism.

Magnetic properties of Gallium Phosphide

  • Gallium phosphide Possesses negative magnetic susceptibility of -13.8×10-6 cgs.
  • Gallium phosphide exhibit ferromagnetism when it is doped with 3% of manganese.
  • The cubic structure of gallium phosphide yields magneto semiconductor behavior.
  • Gallium phosphide has narrower hysteresis window.

Is gallium antimonide magnetic?

Gallium antomonide is a semiconductor with a band gap of 0.67eV. Let us discuss whether gallium antimonide is magnetic or not.

Gallium antimonide exhibits ferromagnetism when it is doped with iron or manganese. The vacancy left in gallium antimonide lattice filled by Fe or Mn induces magnetization in the presence of strong magnetic field. The magnetic behavior observed in doped gallium antimonide is intrinsic magnetic moment.

Gallium antimonide magnetic properties

  • Gallium antimonide is a non-metal, so it is non magnetic until it is doped with any other metal.
  • The hysteresis loss in doped gallium antimonide is low.
  • The gallium antimonide doped with ferromagnetic material exhibit positive and relatively high magnetic susceptibility.

Conclusion

Let us end this post by stating that gallium is a perfect diamagnetic material even though it has unpaired electron. The diamagnetism of gallium is due to its overlapping of valance electrons. Some of gallium based compound exhibit paramagnetism and ferromagnetism when doped with magnetic materials.

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