Indium is a silvery-white, easily malleable metal. It is mainly found in polymetallic ores in connection with tin, lead, copper and zinc. As an alloy component, indium increases, even in small concentrations, the strength and corrosion resistance of the alloy. It wets glass and forms a more corrosion resistant mirror surface than silver – and that with same reflexion characteristics.
The most important application of indium are ITO-coatings of any kind (smartphones, monitors, notebooks, televisions etc.). Indium is increasingly used in the manufacture of modern CIGS-thin-film solar modules in the photovoltaics industry. Moreover, it is used to produce ultrapure low temperature alloys and solders of e.g. mercury-free thermometers or it is used in the dental and jewelry industry. The revolutionary semiconductor material IGZO is needed as a thin-film transistor of OLED flat screens.