Publication year: 2003
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The present issue of Structure and Bonding is dedicated to applied group 13 chemistry, particularly for the elements boron and aluminum, and to a lesser degree gallium and indium. Although boron is a trace element (0.01 g kg 1) in the earth's crust, it has been concentrated in a few locations by geochemical processes and is relatively easy to mine as borax. Aluminum, on the other hand, is the most abundant metal in the earth's crust (82 g kg 1) and dispersed widely throughout the globe. In the chapter Schubert explains the close relationship between the basic properties of the boron compounds and their associated uses. The remaining four chapters focus, to some degree, on aluminum. Since a great deal of literature exists in this area, these chapters are more focused on areas of emerging utility, and contain a great deal of fundamental information. Uhl's contribution in Chapter 2 provides basic synthesis and structural information for aluminum and gallium hydrazides. These types of compounds are being explored as potential molecular precursors to metal nitrides such as the important blue green laser material gallium nitride.