What is TCO used for?

What is TCO used for?

What is TCO? TCO stands for Transparent Conductive Oxide – basically a clear substance that can conduct electricity. Why would you need TCOs? The answer is actually quite a lot. Let’s find out…

Common TCO applications

One of the most common uses for Transparent Conductive Oxides is in touchscreen devices. A screen that requires touch commands (cell phones and tablets for example) uses the human touch over an electrically charged sheet of glass. When the TCO coated glass is touched, there is a change to the charge and the device can register exactly where the touch occurred.

If you are reading this on your phone or tablet, there is a very strong chance that your touch commands are utilising a TCO. The most common TCO in cell phones is ITO (indium Tin Oxide).

ITO also has many other usage applications, such as heater windows – aircraft cockpits use a current to maintain and increase temperatures where required. This same technology is employed in many other forms of transport as well as being heavily applied in the military industry.

Smart glass also uses Transparent Conductive Oxides to regulate temperatures which reduces both heating and air con costs. This obviously has a significant environmental impact.

Other Transparent Conductive Oxide uses

Another significant use of Transparent Conductive Oxides to help protect the environment is within photovoltaics in solar panels.

TCOs are important for research and development, especially in electron microscopy. By using microscope slides that can carry a charge, specimens can be viewed without having to charge the specimen.

EMI shielding and a range of other optoelectronic devices all use Transparent Conductive Oxides too.

The first reported use of a Transparent Conductive Oxide was on a thin film way back in 1907. The German physicist Dr Karl Badeker is credited with inventing the first TCO, using cadmium oxide (CdO).

Diamond Coatings Transparent Conductive Oxides

From those early days to the present, Diamond Coatings operate a state-of-the-art plant in Phoenix, Arizona, where we produce a range of ITO coated solutions for companies on a global basis. Now recognised as a true market leader in ITO coatings on glass and plastics, we are ready to assist with any ITO coating requirements.

Please get in touch with us today. A member of our technical team will get straight back to you.

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Indium in Touch Screens

A capacitive touch screen utilises a screen that is coated with a transparent conductive oxide, in most cases ITO – Indium Tin Oxide

ITO Coated Microscope Slides

ITO coated microscope slides allow a specimen to be viewed using electron microscopy, without the need for the specimen being charged.

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Operating ultra-modern magnetron sputtering plants complete with clean rooms from state-of-the-art factory premises in Phoenix, Arizona. Diamond Coatings provide an extensive range of products, including ITO (Indium Tin Oxide) and AR (Anti-Reflection) coatings on glass or plastics; capacitive and resistive touch screens; monolithic shielding filters (RFI) on glass or plastics; mesh windows, glass supplies and more.
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