Tungsten oxide, also known as tungsten trioxide or tungstic anhydride, WO3, is a chemical compound containing oxygen and the transition metal tungsten. It is obtained as an intermediate in the recovery of tungsten from its minerals. Tungsten ores are treated with alkalis to produce WO3. Further reaction with carbon or hydrogen gas reduces tungsten trioxide to the pure metal.
Tungsten oxide is used for many purposes in everyday life. It is frequently used in industry to manufacture tungstates for x-ray screen phosphors, for fireproofing fabrics and in gas sensors. Due to its rich yellow color, WO3 is also used as a pigment in ceramics and paints.
In recent years, tungsten oxide has been applied in the production of electrochromic windows, or smart windows. These windows are electrically switchable glass that change light transmission properties with an applied voltage. This allows the user to tint their windows, changing the amount of heat or light passing through.
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