The periodic table of tech

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26. Iron: The strength and low cost of iron make it perfect for engineering applications, and iron compounds serve as an etchant for copper in the manufacture of printed circuit boards (such as the Sunstone PCB collection).

27. Cobalt is found in lithium ion batteries (such as Panasonic rechargable lithium ion batteries), in the form of lithium cobalt oxide.

28. Nickel is present in batteries such as the nickel-metal hydride battery used in hybrid cars. Both the Honda Civic Hybrid and the Ford Escape Hybrid use these batteries.

29. Copper is found in almost all electronics, as it is superior to comparative elements—like aluminum—in electricity and heat transfer. For example, take any stick of RAM and look at where it connects to the computer; all of those connections are made of copper.

30. Zinc is used in different types of batteries, such as the zinc-carbon battery (in which zinc is the case for the battery), the nickel-zinc battery (often found in cordless phones or digital cameras), and the zinc-air battery (commonly found in hearing aids, as well as in electrical vehicles).

31. GalliumA gallium compound—gallium nitrate—is used to make the laser diodes on Blu-ray players such as the Samsung BD-E6500 3D Blu-ray player.

32. Germanium acts as a doping agent with silicon to increase its speed in CPU production. IBM and Georgia Tech push the boundaries of silicon-germanium CPUs by testing them at extreme temperatures.

33. ArsenicThough not directly related to any tech product because of its toxicity, arsenic is commonly used in bronzing and pyrotechnics.

34. SeleniumThe copper indium gallium selenide compound is used in the production of some solar cells, specifically the thin-film category. The Brunton Solaris 52 CIGS Foldable Solar Panel uses selenium (the "CIGS" in its name stands for copper indium gallium selenide).

35. Bromine compounds are used to make the light-sensitive component of photographic emulsion—without bromine compounds, photographs would not capture sufficient light. One such product is Kentmere bromide photo paper.

36. Krypton gas is whitish in color, so krypton-based light bulbs are useful in photography as a brilliant white light source. Krypton is often used in high-speed photography.

37. RubidiumAlthough this item is more for hobbyists, rubidium is used in atomic clocks as a reference. You can buy a Rubidium atomic clock on eBay.

38. Strontium compounds contribute to the glass of CRT TVs and monitors, to prevent X-rays from coming through. The old Gateway VX720 17-inch Flat-CRT monitor featured a strontium compound.

39. Yttrium helps CRT televisions produce a red color. When used in a compound, it collects energy and passes it to the phosphor.

40. Zirconium is extremely resistant to heat, so it’s ideal for space vehicles and aircraft. Jet-engine blades are manufactured with zirconium.

41. NiobiumLithium niobate is used in mobile phone production, incorporated into surface acoustic wave filters that convert acoustic waves into electrical signals and make smartphone touchscreens work. SAW filters also provide cell signal enhancement, and are used to produce the Apple iPad 2.

42. Molybdenum is mainly used in steel production—it has the ability to withstand extremely high temperatures without changing shape. It is a component of armor, aircraft parts, industrial motors, filaments, and electrical contacts.

43. TechnetiumDespite its name, technetium is used mainly in the medical industry. It serves as a medical tracer that doctors can detect in the human body with a gamma camera.

44. Ruthenium, when added to compounds, is used to make dye-sensitive solar cells, but those aren't commercially available.

45. RhodiumLike platinum (78), rhodium is used in catalytic converters for cars, but rhodium is specifically suited for diesel-powered vehicles.

46. Palladium is used to make multilayer ceramic capacitors. These take the form of squares or rectangles mounted on the surface of a printed circuit board; you'll see them on most computer motherboards.

47. Silver is used to make high-quality connections, such as RF connections and coaxial cables. Plenty of cables have silver in their connectors.

48. Cadmium, used in the production of cadmium telluride photovoltaics, offers a cheap and efficient method of manufacturing solar panels. Though it isn't widely available for commercial use, you can find some places to buy the panels online, including eBay (the term “CdTe” refers to the cadmium telluride compound).

49. Indium is used in the production of indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) displays, notably produced by Sharp.

50. Tin is widely used in solder, generally alongside lead, with an average ratio of 60 to 40 (lead to tin). Solder is found in just about every single electronic device.

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