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Looking for electrically conductive glass (or other clear conductive material) Answered

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It's been three years since I looked into building myself something inspired by the amazing work of Ingo Maurer. I had a chance to sit at this table (on a bench similarly illuminated!) and it's amazing. It's solid and it's completely transparent. There are no visible wires, the electricity is conducted through the glass. It's by far the most impressive t hing I've ever seen using LEDs.

Three years ago when I first looked into it the only option I found was lab glass (I believe titanium oxide coated) that ran about $10 a square inch. Yikes.

But materials science moves on. To make my project feasible I'm looking for something with 80% transparency and less than 20ohms/square inch resistance. (And hopfully much less than $10/square). I've read about "FTO coated" and "ITO coated" but can't find anyone who sells it to individuals.

Any ideas? Names of possible suppliers, other materials to look into or random suggestions are most welcome.

18 Replies

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SheaS2 (author)2016-12-28

I wonder what it would look like to layer something like this into a 3D LED cube.

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Yonatan24 (author)2016-12-22

Indium? It's used for smartphone screens.

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SMCDBOSS (author)2015-07-20

Hi
Though this post is very old, I would like to tell that my company has developed such a conducting glass with about 80% transparency and less than 20ohms/square inch resistance. Also the price is much lower than $10/square. If you genuinely need it, then please let me know. I would be glad to supply it.

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Jacoby Anderson (author)SMCDBOSS2016-12-22

I need it for a science project.

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SebastianH63 (author)SMCDBOSS2016-06-13

Hi

I saw your post and I was interested in the fact that your company has developed such product for far less cost effective than the previous design. Can you please contact me at your earliest convenience please or send me the company name?

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JohannK3 (author)SMCDBOSS2016-03-16

Hello! I am also interested in such a conducting glass, could you please send me the company name?

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GenevieveR2 (author)SMCDBOSS2016-02-02

Hello! Would you please post a link to your website?

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Kiteman (author)SMCDBOSS2015-07-20

Oh, that sounds interesting - you should add a link to your site as well.

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Kiteman (author)Kiteman2015-07-20
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Jacoby Anderson (author)2016-12-22

Help! I need conductive glass and don't know where to find it.

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firezone (author)2009-10-24

heres a slightly sadistic implementation of this kind of glass......

say you replaced your windows with this stuff and ran say, 50V through it, then if someone touched it they would be electrocuted 

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Grathio (author)firezone2009-10-24

Of course it's the amps, not the volts that get you.

I'm pretty sure that's not much of a danger with this glass.  The surface coating is pretty delicate and has a fair amount of resistance.  Putting enough current through it to really hurt someone would burn the coating right off.  Which, come to think of it, flaming glass would be pretty cool too.

Though I'm not an electrician or a doctor.

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Aerospaced (author)Grathio2013-08-25

Actually, you want high voltage with minimal current. Remember, a current of only 0.025A/25mA can be lethal if the path goes across the heart.
You could easily run 1500VDC at 5mA and get your point across "DON'T TOUCH!".

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jeff-o (author)2009-08-26

I bought a 2 foot by 2 foot sheet of ITO film from Bayview Optics for $50 a few months ago. Of all the places I contacted about ITO glass and film, they;re the only ones who seemed interested in shipping small quantities to individuals.

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Grathio (author)jeff-o2009-08-26

That at least shows me it can be done. The glass is still a bit more expensive than I hoped (About $130 a square foot). I can buy premade ITO film with LEDs embedded for about $100 a foot. though they LED's are only in a wide grid and their custom power supplies are an extra $250... I'm going to keep looking and see what I can find. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

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jeff-o (author)Grathio2009-08-27

The tricky part, if you can find suitably inexpensive glass, is etching the "traces" into the film. I think it's a chemical process but I have no idea how it's done...

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Nyxius (author)jeff-o2013-07-21

The simplest method available to you is electrical etching. draw masks in the pattern that you don't want etched, then drop in water bath with x% vinegar concentration. drop in an electrode and run a current through it. the vinegar will etch the extra oxide right off the glass.

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lion123 (author)2010-09-12

I think you can order the ITO glass from Xin Yan Technology LIMITED, Hong Kong, They offer high quality ITO glass for electronic at competitive price.

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