When amalgam was triturated with Hg-In liquid alloys instead of pure mercury, the resultant amalgams released a significantly smaller amount of mercury vapor during setting. To understand the mechanisms responsible for the drastic decrease in mercury evaporation from the In-containing amalgam, we used Auger Electron Spectroscopy to examine surface oxide films on amalgams made with Hg-10 wt% In or pure mercury. The surface of the In-containing amalgam was rapidly covered with both indium and tin oxide films. Greater amounts of oxygen were found on the γ1 Ag-Hg matrix in the In-containing amalgam than in the amalgam without indium. The rapid formation of the oxide film contributes to a reduction in the mercury release from the In-containing amalgam by forming an effective barrier to evaporation.
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