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gallium iodide is an important starting material for a variety of organic reactions. It is used as an acid-base reagent in organogallium chemistry and is also the precursor for chemical vapor transport growth of gallium arsenide.

The reactivity of gallium iodide in organic synthesis has been well documented. It has been used to access a variety of alkylgallium diiodides in oxidative addition, to prepare organogallium salts by reductive acylation, and to iodinate aromatic compounds.

More recently, a variety of gallium-based clusters have been prepared from “GaI” using various ligands. The most common approach involves the reaction of GaI with a silyl or germyl iodide to generate a cluster such as [Ga9Si(SiMe3)36]-, characterized by a pentagonal bipyramidal polyhedral structure and low average oxidation state. This cluster is also readily reacted with Co2(CO)8 to form the dicobalt octacarbonyl complex, (thf)GaCp*Co(CO)42, in which gallium has sigma interactions to two Co(CO)8 units.

The 69 MHz solid-state NMR spectra of this compound have been reported and interpreted. The signal at diso = -424(5) ppm with a non-zero QI tensor supports a tetrahedral [GaI4-] constituent assignment, whereas that at diso = 15(5) ppm with a zero tensor favors an assignment of [Ga2I62-].

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