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The phase diagram of the mercury-indium alloy system


The mercury-indium phase diagram has been investigated over the whole composition range from -78°C to the melting point of indium, using thermal analysis, X-ray and superconductivity techniques. This is believed to be the first application of superconductivity measurements to phase diagram investigations. A compound, HgIn, of very limited range of composition, melts congruently at -19.3°C; and gives rise to eutectics at 61.5 at. % indium and -31°C, and at 34.7% indium and -37.2°C. The β phase extends from 2.5 to 19.1 % indium and has a maximum melting point of -14.2°C at 14.2% indium. It forms a peritectic or eutectic at a temperature indistinguishable from the melting point of pure mercury with a solid solution in mercury containing some, but less than 0.3%, indium. A transition from face-centred tetragonal to face-centred cubic in the indium-rich solid solutions at about 93% indium gives rise to a peritectic at 108°C. The solubility of mercury in this face-centred cubic phase falls from about 22% at-31°C to 13% at -78°C. © 1963.

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