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Indium Metal: The German Connection

  • Indium
  • Although Indium Corporation was founded in New York State (and maintains our corporate office here) in the USA, we have strong ties to a great many areas around the world.  One being Germany.

    Indium metal was originally discovered in Germany in 1863 by Ferdinand Reich and Hieronymous Theodor Richter.  It was identified by its bright blue (indigo) spectral line in their mass spec analysis.  Unfortunately for Reich, he was color blind so he sought help from Richter to figure out what he was looking at.

    So, where would we be today if Reich had just glossed over this discovery and continued to work on his original goal of seeing if zinc sulfide ore also contained thallium, and not brought in his colleague to help him decipher the mysterious indigo line in the spectrum?

    Just a few of the areas where indium plays a role in our everyday lives:

    1. ITO (indium-tin oxide) for LCD touch screens on our cell phones, tablets, and computers.
    2. Low-temperature solders for LED and other temperature-sensitive component manufacture
    3. Seals for cryogenic ( and other harsh environment) applications
    4. High-performance thermal interface materials

    There are a wide variety of technical applications for indium, spanning a variety of products and markets. You can learn more by contacting me directly at or visiting our website,  How can indium solve your challenge?