Groups :

 Boron Family

Tool: Interactive Periodic Table

About the Group
The last of the p block families we will be looking at is the boron family -- Group 13. This group includes the elements boron, aluminum, gallium, indium, and thallium. All five have three electrons in their outer energy level. Only one member of this family is a metalloid -- boron. The others are classified as metals, forming positive ions by giving up their three outermost electrons.

In the "Real" World
Boron is most commonly found as borax and boric acid, which are used in cleaning compounds. Aluminum is the third most common element in the earth's crust. It is used as a coating agent, to prevent oxidation. It is an excellent conductor of electricity and heat and can be found in many cooking utensils. Gallium is important today in the production of gallium arsenide LEDs and laser diodes. Indium is a very soft metal that can actually be wiped onto other metals as an anticorrosion agent. It also has the peculiar quality of squealing when bent. Finally, thallium is quite toxic and is sometimes used in rat poisons. It has also been used in glass to make special infrared filters.

Illustration highlighting the boron family on the periodic table