Chemistry Behind Apple's new Iphone 6, Iphone 6L devices chemical composition

Chemicals in your Smartphone…

9:44 AM, 18th September 2014
Chemistry Behind Apple's new Iphone 6, Iphone 6L devices chemical composition

SINGAPORE: The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have smashed all previous pre-order records since being unveiled by Apple last week, with widespread excitement about the device’s new screen, better battery, A8 processor, and improved camera. But what exactly goes into the creation of the world’s most talked about smartphone? The American Chemical Society has decided to answer this question with a new video that reveals the chemical elements found inside Apple’s latest iPhone. The video reveals that the iPhone 6, like many other high-end smartphones, contains everything from gold to arsenic.

Dozens of other more familiar chemicals are also used in the makeup of the smartphone, including sapphire for the Touch ID button, and oxygen and tin for the transparent film on the screen. These conductive elements are vital for the touchscreen to function, as modern displays rely on the electricity generated from skin. This also explains why wearing gloves makes using a smartphone impossible.

According the video by American Chemical Society, the various elements/chemicals used in different parts of a smartphone are -

Screen -

Indium tin oxide - a mixture of indium oxide and tin oxide are used in transparent film in the screen that conducts electricity. This allows the screen to function as a touch screen.

The glass used on the majority of smartphones is an aluminosilicate glass, composed of a mix of alumina (Al2O3) and silica (SiO2). This glass also contains potassium ions, which help to stenghten it.

A variety of rare earth element compounds are used in small quantities to produce the colours in the smartphone’s screen. Some compounds are also used to reduce UV light penetration into the phone.

Electronics -

Copper is used for wiring in the phone, whilst copper, gold and silver are the major metals from which microelectrical components are fashioned. Tantalum is the major component of micro-capacitors.

Nickel is used in the microphone as well as for other electrical connections. Alloys including the elements praseodymium, gadolinium and neodymium are used in the magnets in the speaker and microphone. Neodymium, terbium and dysprosium are used in the vibration unit.

Pure silicon is used to manufacture the chip in the phone. It is oxidised to produce non-conducting regions, then other elements are added in order to allow the chip to conduct electricity.

Tin and lead are used to solder electronics in the phone. Newer lead free solders use a mix of tin, copper and silver.


The majority of phones use lithium ion batteries, which are composed of lithium cobalt oxide as a positive electrode and graphite (carbon) as the negative electrode. Some batteries use other metals, such as manganese, in place of cobalt. The battery’s casing is made of aluminium.


Magnesium compounds are alloyed to make some phone cases, whilst many are made of plastics. Plastics will also include flame retardant compounds, some of which contain bromine, whilst nickel can be included to reduce electromagnetic interference.

© Worldofchemicals News

Reference -

American Chemical Society Video 



Your Comments (Up to 2000 characters)
Please respect our community and the integrity of its participants. WOC reserves the right to moderate and approve your comment.

Related News

Scientists develop water-based nuclear battery

COLUMBIA, US: From cell phones to cars and flashlights, batteries play an important role in everyday life. Scientists and technology companies constan ...

Read more
Scientists create new transparent coating for glass

HOUSTON, US: Rice University scientists who created a deicing film for radar domes have now refined the technology to work as a transparent coating fo ...

Read more
AkzoNobel, Photanol to develop chemicals from solar power

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS: AkzoNobel and cleantech company Photanol have teamed up to develop a process for harnessing the power of the sun to make c ...

Read more
Foster Wheeler bags Sasol’s electrical expansion and fuel gas superheater contract

ZUG, SWITZERLAND: Foster Wheeler AG’s subsidiary of Global Engineering and Construction Group has been awarded an engineering, procurement ...

Read more
Univar appoints new President for Latin America, Marco Antonio Quirino

DOWNERS GROVE, US: Marco Antonio Quirino has been named President of Univar Latin America, effective 1 September 2014. The announcement was made by Da ...

Read more
Scientists find new halogenation enzyme

PITTSBURGH, US: Molecules containing carbon-halogen bonds are produced naturally across all kingdoms of life and constitute a large family of natural ...

Read more uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. X