Silver could serve as a replacement for more expensive rare-earth metals in touch screens and other electronic applications according to an article in the latest edition of Silver News by the Silver Institute. Silver News also covers other technological developments and news relating to silver.
An expensive composite material made from indium, tin and oxygen (ITO) is key to manufacturing touchscreens and other products because of its ability to be visually transparent while still electrically conductive. But indium is rare and expensive.
Researchers may have found a substitute using layers of tungsten oxide, silver, and silver/tungsten oxide on glass.
While neither tungsten nor silver is considered overly abundant, they are much less rare than indium.
Other applications beyond touchscreens include antireflection coatings for mirrors and ‘smart windows’ that become dimmer in sunlight.
This is one of many new industrial applications for silver that will likely drive demand higher in the future.
- The latest edition of Silver News also highlights some other fascinating technological advances utilizing the white metal along with some developments in the silver market. Here are some highlights.
- In July, the State of Ohio became the 41st state to remove sales taxes from purchases of silver and gold bullion, leaving only nine states and the District of Columbia as jurisdictions that continue to levy taxes on such transactions.
- Scientists at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and Northwestern University, Illinois, have developed a sticker test for Cystic Fibrosis using silver chlorinate. When applied to a person’s skin, the sticker changes color when exposed to chloride ions. This test requires no electricity or the need to induce sweat, and results are available within several minutes.
- Covering high-touch surfaces in hospitals with silver-impregnated plastic foil reduced bacteria count by more than 60 times, according to medical researchers at the University Hospital of Basel, Switzerland.
- Of the three Olympic medals awarded at the recently concluded 2020 games held in Tokyo, Japan, only the silver medal is made purely of what it says it is: silver. According to the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the gold medal, which weighs about 556 grams, contains about 6 grams of gold over pure silver. In other words, the gold Olympic medal is about 1 percent gold clad with the rest composed of pure silver.
- The world’s most popular one-ounce silver bullion coin – the US Mint’s American Eagle Silver Bullion Coin – is being offered in uncirculated condition in September with a redesign previously seen in the proof version that came out in mid-July.
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