Indium(III) chloride

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Indium(III) chloride
Kristallstruktur Chrom(III)-chlorid.png
Other names
Indium chloride
Indium trichloride
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.030.027 OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
EC Number
  • 233-043-0
PubChem CID
RTECS number
  • NL1400000
UN number 3260
Molar mass 221.18 g/mol
Appearancewhite flakes
Density 3.46 g/cm3
Melting point 586 °C (1,087 °F; 859 K)
Boiling point 800 °C (1,470 °F; 1,070 K)
195 g/100 mL, exothermic
Solubility in other solvents THF, Ethanol
Monoclinic, mS16
C12/m1, No. 12
Main hazards Corrosive
Safety data sheet External SDS
GHS pictograms GHS-pictogram-acid.svg GHS-pictogram-exclam.svg [1]
GHS Signal word Danger [1]
H302, H314 [1]
P260, P303+361+353, P305+351+338, P301+330+331, P405, P501 [1]
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
NFPA 704.svgFlammability code 0: Will not burn. E.g. waterHealth code 2: Intense or continued but not chronic exposure could cause temporary incapacitation or possible residual injury. E.g. chloroformReactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g. liquid nitrogenSpecial hazards (white): no code
Related compounds
Other anions
Indium(III) fluoride
Indium(III) bromide
Indium(III) iodide
Other cations
Aluminium chloride
Gallium trichloride
Thallium(III) chloride
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Indium(III) chloride is the chemical compound with the formula In Cl3. This salt is a white, flaky solid with applications in organic synthesis as a Lewis acid. It is also the most available soluble derivative of indium. [2]


Synthesis and structure

Being a relatively electropositive metal, indium reacts quickly with chlorine to give the trichloride. Indium trichloride is very soluble and deliquescent. [3] A synthesis has been reported using an electrochemical cell in a mixed methanol-benzene solution. [4]

Like AlCl3 and TlCl3, InCl3 crystallizes as a layered structure consisting of a close-packed chloride arrangement containing layers of octahedrally coordinated In(III) centers, [5] a structure akin to that seen in YCl3. [6] In contrast, GaCl3 crystallizes as dimers containing Ga2Cl6. [6] Molten InCl3 conducts electricity, [5] whereas AlCl3 does not as it converts to the molecular dimer, Al2Cl6. [7]


InCl3 is a Lewis acid and forms complexes with donor ligands, L, InCl3L, InCl3L2, InCl3L3. For example, with the chloride ion it forms tetrahedral InCl4, trigonal bipyramidal InCl52−, and octahedral InCl63−. [5]

In diethyl ether solution, InCl3 reacts with lithium hydride, LiH, to form . This unstable compound decomposes below 0 °C, [8] and is reacted in situ in organic synthesis as a reducing agent [9] and to prepare tertiary amine and phosphine complexes of InH3. [10]

Trimethylindium, InMe3, can be produced by reacting InCl3 in diethyl ether solution either with the Grignard reagent or methyllithium, LiMe. Triethylindium can be prepared in a similar fashion but with the grignard reagent EtMgBr. [11]

InCl3 reacts with indium metal at high temperature to form the lower valent indium chlorides In5Cl9, In2Cl3 and InCl. [5]

Catalyst in chemistry

Indium chloride is a Lewis acid catalyst in organic reactions such as Friedel-Crafts acylations and Diels-Alder reactions. As an example of the latter, [12] the reaction proceeds at room temperature, with 1 mole% catalyst loading in an acetonitrile-water solvent mixture. The first step is a Knoevenagel condensation between the barbituric acid and the aldehyde; the second step is a reverse electron-demand Diels-Alder reaction, which is a multicomponent reaction of N,N'-dimethyl-barbituric acid, benzaldehyde and ethyl vinyl ether. With the catalyst, the reported chemical yield is 90% and the percentage trans isomer is 70%. Without the catalyst added, the yield drops to 65% with 50% trans product.


Related Research Articles

Iron(III) chloride chemical compound

Iron(III) chloride is the inorganic compound with the formula. Also called ferric chloride, it is a common compound of iron in the +3 oxidation state. The anhydrous compound is a crystalline solid with a melting point of 307.6 °C. The color depends on the viewing angle: by reflected light the crystals appear dark green, but by transmitted light they appear purple-red.

Gilman reagent

A Gilman reagent is a lithium and copper (diorganocopper) reagent compound, R2CuLi, where R is an alkyl or aryl. These reagents are useful because, unlike related Grignard reagents and organolithium reagents, they react with organic halides to replace the halide group with an R group (the Corey–House reaction). Such displacement reactions allow for the synthesis of complex products from simple building blocks.

Lithium aluminium hydride, commonly abbreviated to LAH, is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula LiAlH4. It is a grey solid. It was discovered by Finholt, Bond and Schlesinger in 1947. This compound is used as a reducing agent in organic synthesis, especially for the reduction of esters, carboxylic acids, and amides. The solid is dangerously reactive toward water, releasing gaseous hydrogen (H2). Some related derivatives have been discussed for hydrogen storage.

Titanium tetrachloride

Titanium tetrachloride is the inorganic compound with the formula TiCl4. It is an important intermediate in the production of titanium metal and the pigment titanium dioxide. TiCl4 is a volatile liquid. Upon contact with humid air, it forms spectacular opaque clouds of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and hydrated hydrogen chloride. It is sometimes referred to as "tickle" or "tickle 4" due to the phonetic resemblance of its molecular formula (TiCl4) to the word.

Cerium(III) chloride

Cerium(III) chloride (CeCl3), also known as cerous chloride or cerium trichloride, is a compound of cerium and chlorine. It is a white hygroscopic salt; it rapidly absorbs water on exposure to moist air to form a hydrate, which appears to be of variable composition, though the heptahydrate CeCl3·7H2O is known. It is highly soluble in water, and (when anhydrous) it is soluble in ethanol and acetone.

Aluminium chloride chemical compound

Aluminium chloride (AlCl3), also known as aluminium trichloride, describe compounds with the formula AlCl3(H2O)n (n = 0 or 6). They consist of aluminium and chlorine atoms in a 1:3 ratio, and one form also contains six waters of hydration. Both are white solids, but samples are often contaminated with iron(III) chloride, giving a yellow color.

Copper(I) chloride

Copper(I) chloride, commonly called cuprous chloride, is the lower chloride of copper, with the formula CuCl. The substance is a white solid sparingly soluble in water, but very soluble in concentrated hydrochloric acid. Impure samples appear green due to the presence of copper(II) chloride (CuCl2).

Nickel(II) chloride

Nickel(II) chloride (or just nickel chloride), is the chemical compound NiCl2. The anhydrous salt is yellow, but the more familiar hydrate NiCl2·6H2O is green. Nickel(II) chloride, in various forms, is the most important source of nickel for chemical synthesis. The nickel chlorides are deliquescent, absorbing moisture from the air to form a solution. Nickel salts have been shown to be carcinogenic to the lungs and nasal passages in cases of long-term inhalation exposure.

Phosphorus trichloride

Phosphorus trichloride is a chemical compound of phosphorus and chlorine, having the chemical formula PCl3. It is a toxic and volatile liquid which reacts violently with water to release HCl gas. It has a trigonal pyramidal shape, owing to the lone pairs on the phosphorus. It is an important industrial chemical, being used for the manufacture of phosphites and other organophosphorus compounds for a wide variety of applications. It has a 31P NMR signal at around +220 ppm with reference to a phosphoric acid standard.


Triphenylphosphine (IUPAC name: triphenylphosphane) is a common organophosphorus compound with the formula P(C6H5)3 - often abbreviated to PPh3 or Ph3P. It is widely used in the synthesis of organic and organometallic compounds. PPh3 exists as relatively air stable, colorless crystals at room temperature. It dissolves in non-polar organic solvents such as benzene and diethyl ether.

Gold(III) chloride

Gold(III) chloride, traditionally called auric chloride, is a chemical compound of gold and chlorine. With the molecular formula Au2Cl6, the name gold trichloride is a simplification, referring to the empirical formula, AuCl3. The Roman numerals in the name indicate that the gold has an oxidation state of +3, which is common for gold compounds. There is also another related chloride of gold, gold(I) chloride (AuCl). Chloroauric acid, HAuCl4, the product formed when gold dissolves in aqua regia, is sometimes referred to as "gold chloride" or "acid gold trichloride". Gold(III) chloride is very hygroscopic and highly soluble in water as well as ethanol. It decomposes above 160 °C or in light.


18-Crown-6 is an organic compound with the formula [C2H4O]6 and the IUPAC name of 1,4,7,10,13,16-hexaoxacyclooctadecane. It is a white, hygroscopic crystalline solid with a low melting point. Like other crown ethers, 18-crown-6 functions as a ligand for some metal cations with a particular affinity for potassium cations (binding constant in methanol: 106 M−1). The point group of 18-crown-6 is S6. The dipole moment of 18-crown-6 varies in different solvent and under different temperature. Under 25 °C, the dipole moment of 18-crown-6 is 2.76 ± 0.06 D in cyclohexane and 2.73 ± 0.02 in benzene. The synthesis of the crown ethers led to the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Charles J. Pedersen.

Trimethylsilyl chloride

Trimethylsilyl chloride, also known as chlorotrimethylsilane is an organosilicon compound (silyl halide), with the formula (CH3)3SiCl, often abbreviated Me3SiCl or TMSCl. It is a colourless volatile liquid that is stable in the absence of water. It is widely used in organic chemistry.

Boron trichloride is the inorganic compound with the formula BCl3. This colorless gas is a reagent in organic synthesis. It is highly reactive toward water.

Grignard reagent

A Grignard reagent or Grignard compound is a chemical compound with the generic formula R−Mg−X, where X is a halogen and R is an organic group, normally an alkyl or aryl. Two typical examples are methylmagnesium chloride Cl−Mg−CH
and phenylmagnesium bromide (C
. They are a subclass of the organomagnesium compounds.

Indium(III) bromide

Indium(III) bromide, (indium tribromide), InBr3, is a chemical compound of indium and bromine. It is a Lewis acid and has been used in organic synthesis.

Gallium trichloride

Gallium trichloride is the chemical compound with the formula GaCl3. Solid gallium trichloride exists as a dimer with the formula Ga2Cl6. It is colourless and soluble in virtually all solvents, even alkanes, which is truly unusual for a metal halide. It is the main precursor to most derivatives of gallium and a reagent in organic synthesis.

Organocopper compound Organometallic compound with C-Cu bonds

Organocopper compounds in organometallic chemistry contain carbon to copper chemical bonds. Organocopper chemistry is the science of organocopper compounds describing their physical properties, synthesis and reactions. They are reagents in organic chemistry.

Thiophosphoryl chloride

Thiophosphoryl chloride is an inorganic compound with the formula PSCl3. It is a colorless pungent smelling liquid that fumes in air. It is synthesized from phosphorus chloride and used to thiophosphorylate organic compounds, such as to produce insecticides.

Organogallium chemistry

Organogallium chemistry is the chemistry of organometallic compounds containing a carbon to gallium (Ga) chemical bond. Despite their high toxicity, organogallium compounds have some use in organic synthesis. The compound trimethylgallium is of some relevance to MOCVD as a precursor to gallium arsenide via its reaction with arsine at 700 °C:


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  2. Araki, S.; Hirashita, T. "Indium trichloride" in Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis (Ed: L. Paquette) 2004, J. Wiley & Sons, New York. doi : 10.1002/047084289X.
  3. Indium Trichloride
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  12. An efficient synthesis of novel pyrano[2,3-d]- and furopyrano[2,3-d]pyrimidines via Indium-Catalyzed Multicomponent Domino Reaction Prajapati, D. Mukut Gohain, M. Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry 2006, 2:11 doi : 10.1186/1860-5397-2-11