We are fast moving to the touchscreen based gadgets such as tablet PCs, smartphones and gadgets. Indium tin oxide (ITO) is one of the key raw materials used to make the touchscreens. Indium tin oxide has a rare ability to be able to conduct an electrical current while also being optically transparent like glass.
Indium is an expensive by-product of lead and zinc mining. According to Thomas Graedel of Yale University, we are running out of stocks of Indium and are likely to be exhausted by 2020, reports New Scientist.
It is suggested that the future is in carbon nanomaterials, specifically a material called Graphene – sheets of graphite that are a single atom thick.
The next alternate option is developing silver nanowires, which are far more conductive electrically, but also far more expensive to manufacture.
Let us hope that some new inexpensive green display technology will come up in the next few years, which may not even need a physical screen as such.