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The boron family contains the semi-metal boron (B) and metals aluminum (Al), gallium (Ga), indium (In), and thallium (Tl). Aluminum, gallium, indium, and thallium are metallic with three electrons in their outermost shell (a full s orbital and one electron in the p orbital) with the valence electron configuration ns2np1. The boron family adopts oxidation states +3 or +1. The +3 oxidation states are favorable except for the heavier elements, such as Tl, which prefer the +1 oxidation state due to its stability; this is known as the inert pair effect. The elements generally follow periodic trends except for certain Tl deviations:
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