Thermodynamic study on indium-antimony-oxygen system with respect to recycling of rare metals from compound semiconductors

Junichi Kobayashi, Satoshi Itoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Phase equilibria and the activities of the components in indium-antimony-oxygen ternary system have been investigated at temperature of 1173 K to discuss the recovery of indium and antimony from used InSb compound semiconductors. Using the activities of indium and antimony in the indium-antimony binary system reported in literature, the equilibrium partial pressures of oxygen were calculated by applying the Gibbs-Duhem equations to the phase relation of metal-oxide equilibrium. The vapor pressures of indium, antimony and antimony oxide, Sb4O6, were then calculated. It was found that the vapor pressure of antimony was much larger than the values of indium and antimony oxide except in the vicinity of pure antimony composition, indicating that antimony might preferentially vaporize in remelting of used InSb compound semiconductors for recycling. This suggests that change in InSb composition may occur. However, the equilibrium partial pressure of oxygen calculated indicates that the indium oxide is stable compared to antimony oxide, Sb2O3. Then the melting experiment of InSb compound was conducted under the condition of simulated air atmosphere. The indium oxide film formed was observed on the metal surface and it prevented vaporization of antimony. Consequently, the recycling of InSb compound semiconductor can be expected by remelting in an oxidation atmosphere like air without a change in InSb composition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-768
Number of pages6
JournalNippon Kinzoku Gakkaishi/Journal of the Japan Institute of Metals
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Sep


  • Compound semiconductor
  • Indium-antimony-oxygen ternary system
  • Phase equilibria
  • Rare metal
  • Recycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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