What is the tin oxide coating purpose on glass?

The short answer is to provide electrical conductivity whilst retaining transparency. Want the longer, more in-depth answer? Read on!

What is the tin oxide coating purpose on glass?

The short answer is to provide electrical conductivity whilst retaining transparency. Want the longer, more in-depth answer? Read on!

Tin oxide coating on glass

The most widely used and common form of tin oxide coated to glass is Indium Tin Oxide (ITO). Indium tin oxide is a clear substance that is highly conductive and can be applied to glass (and other substrates such as acrylics, polycarbonates and thin PET films).

ITO glass applications are numerous and span many different industries, including medical and military, research and development, automobile and aviation, and technology (Your cell phone most likely uses ITO coated glass to register your touch commands).

ITO Glass Applications

As mentioned above, your cell phone screen may use ITO glass to determine the precise location and gestures you make when touching the glass. The glass’s electrical current alters when touched due to skins natural own conductivity.

Not just for cell phones though… The same technology is applied to many other touch screen devices, in miliary and medical and tech applications.

Another important use for ITO glass is in heated windows, using the conductive glass to heat a glass screen. Passing current across the surface of the glass provides the required heat and allows for constant visual clarity, regardless of the environment. Planes trains and (some) automobiles are now using heated glass cockpit screens and windscreens as standard.

Electron Microscopy

The use of ITO coated glass slides and ITO coated coverslips has changed everything for electron microscopy. The glass carries the charge, rather than the specimen, resulting in the same clarity yet enhancing the specimen’s lifespan under scrutiny. Diamond coatings offer both ITO coated glass slides and coverslips to purchase directly from our website.

Other uses of Indium Tin Oxide glass

ITO coated glass is also used in the production of OLED screens, cinema projection glass and smart freezer doors (as seen in supermarkets). The medical and R&D industries also use ITO coated glass display equipment.

Smart windows now utilise ITO coated glass offering varying levels of opacity on command. Obviously, there is an aesthetic quality here, but the importance to the environment is also worth mentioning too. By either encouraging or discouraging the sun’s heat to enter a building, there is a reduction in either heating or air conditioning requirements, which will also reduce power consumption.

Diamond Coatings ITO glass

Diamond Coatings, based in Phoenix, Arizona, have years of experience and the highest level of technical expertise concerning ITO coated glass and offer a variety of glass substrates, as well as bespoke options including custom cut holes and printed graphics.

Get in touch…

If you would like to know more about our Indium Tin Oxide coated glass, or any of our other ITO and anti-reflective products, please get in touch with us. A member of the team will be happy to assist your specific enquiry.




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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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