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Indium-Tin Oxide: For Flat-Panel, Touch-Screen Technologies

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  • Phil Zarrow: This video is for people interested in Indium Tin Oxide. It will cover how Indium Tin Oxide is used to enable flat panel and touch screen technologies. 
    Hey, Ron, you look deep in thought. What's up?
    Dr. Ronald C. Lasky: Oh, yeah. Well, I'm thinking about the metal that we look at most during the day.
    Phil Zarrow: The most during the day ... It's got to be steel, right?
    Dr. Ronald C. Lasky: No.
    Phil Zarrow: Aluminum?
    Dr. Ronald C. Lasky: Not even close.
    Phil Zarrow: Kryptonite? I don’t know, I give up. What is it?
    Dr. Ronald C. Lasky: In fairness, we actually look through it, not at it. It's Indium and Indium Tin Oxide.
    Phil Zarrow: Okay. So Indium Tin Oxide is used where that we're looking through it?
    Dr. Ronald C. Lasky: It's used in flat panel displays. If you take a look at my cell phone here, when we look at this, we're actually looking through Indium Tin Oxide.
    Phil Zarrow: Ron, why is Indium Tin Oxide needed to make a flat panel display work?
    Dr. Ronald C. Lasky: For a flat panel display to work, the way it's designed is that we have to have a material that we look though that both conducts electricity and is transparent.
    Phil Zarrow: Okay.
    Dr. Ronald C. Lasky: If you consider some of the things you might think about, what's something that conducts electricity well? They're not transparent.
    Phil Zarrow: Scrunch aluminum.
    Dr. Ronald C. Lasky: The very nature of metals is that because the conduct electricity, they're opaque. It's a feature of physics and so scientists had to find a material that both conducted electricity and was transparent. It isn't really a metal. Indium Tin Oxide is a semi conductor. The physics of it is that it will conduct electricity, but it's transparent. We're able to see through it. Indium Tin Oxide is what enables us to have flat panel displays. Indium metal and Indium Tin Oxide are one of the most important materials in the modern world.
    Phil Zarrow: I could see that. So what really makes Indium Tin Oxide unique is that we can see through it but it also conducts electricity.
    Dr. Ronald C. Lasky: Yes, absolutely.
    Phil Zarrow: Ron, where can we get more information about Indium Tin Oxide?
    Dr. Ronald C. Lasky: For more information on Indium Tin Oxide, you can find it is
    Phil Zarrow: Very good. Thank you.
    Dr. Ronald C. Lasky:  Yep.