Elemental gallium does not occur in nature, but as the gallium (III) salt in trace amounts in bauxite and zinc ores.
A soft silvery metallic poor metal, elemental gallium is a brittle solid at low temperatures.
Its melting point is used as a temperature reference point. �
Prior to the semiconductor era, its primary uses were in high-temperature thermometric applications and in preparation of metal alloys with unusual properties of stability, or ease of melting.
APPLICATIONS IN METALLURGY
The semiconductor applications are the main reason for the low-cost commercial availability of the extremely high-purity (99.9999 +%) metal.
About 66% of semiconductor gallium is used in the U.S. in integrated circuits (mostly gallium arsenide), such as the manufacture of ultra-high speed logic chips and MESFETs for low-noise microwave preamplifiers in cell phones.
About 20% is used in optoelectronics. Worldwide gallium arsenide makes up 95% of the annual global gallium consumption.
Aluminium gallium arsenide (AlGaAs) is used in high-powered infrared laser diodes.