In Everyone’s Hands Every Day: Touchscreens With Indium

Indium as physical asset

The price development of indium, in per cent.

Market Situation

Indium is on the list of critical technology metals for which the EU Commission predicts supply shortages. A major reason for this is that China is responsible for more than half of the production and can therefore control the market. The largest deposits are also located in China. Currently, the production capacity of indium is 1,000 tons per year, but the demand is going up.

The trend is being driven by larger screens, for example. But the global expansion of 5G mobile networks is also likely to play a major role.

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properties of indium

The silvery-white shiny indium is produced during zinc smelting. In its pure form, indium is extremely soft. It can be cut with a knife, and you can even carve notches into it with your fingernail. However, if you try to bend it, a cracking sound is heard and the crystals break. This unusual property is expressed in figures: indium melts at 156 °C, and at 2,080 °C it changes into the gaseous state.

applications of indium

Indium surrounds us in almost all objects of modern life: in the computer monitor at work, in the cell phone when making phone calls, in the super-flat TV screen in the living room. Indium is most frequently used for LCD displays. Indium compounds are also playing an increasingly important role in thin-film photovoltaics (solar cell technology) and nanotechnology.