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Superhydrophobic Coating to be Used on Samsung Smart Phones and Tablets

Published on 2016-09-27. Author : SpecialChem

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. -- Samsung Electronics has licensed the optically clear superhydrophobic film technology from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory to improve the performance of glass displays on smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices.

Coatings to Improve the Performance of Glass Displays

Glass Coating
An ORNL-developed thin glass film with superhydrophobic
properties repels water that carries away dust and dirt

Advantages of the Transparent Coating:

  • The coating repels water that carries away dust and dirt 
  • Reduces light reflection 
  • Resists fingerprints and smudges

“The thin nanostructured layer of porous glass film enables these combined properties, making it suitable for commercial applications,” said ORNL’s Tolga Aytug, co-inventor of the technology.

To be superhydrophobic, a surface must achieve a water droplet contact angle exceeding 150 degrees. ORNL’s coating has a contact angle of between 155 and 165 degrees, so water literally bounces off, taking away dust particles.

The ORNL research team developed the superhydrophobic technology by depositing a thin glass film on a glass surface and heating the coated glass to transform the surface into two material compositions. A selective etching process produces a porous three-dimensional network of high-silica content glass that resembles microscopic coral and enables water-repellent and antireflective properties.
ORNL Superhydrophobic thermal processing
ORNL’s Tolga Aytug uses thermal processing and etching
capabilities to produce a transparent superhydrophobic
coating technology licensed by Samsung Electronics

Beyond electronics, the technology also holds potential for applications in:
  • Solar panels
  • Lenses
  • Detectors
  • Windows 

The fields of solar panels and architectural windows are still available for licensing.

Aytug led the technology’s development in collaboration with ORNL co-inventors Parans Paranthaman, Daniela Bogorin, David Christen, Brian D’Urso and John Simpson and was recognized with an R&D 100 Award in 2015. The work was supported by ORNL’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program and Technology Innovation Program.

About ORNL

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is an American science and technology national laboratory managed for the United States Department of Energy (DOE) by UT-Battelle. ORNL is one of the largest science and energy national laboratory in the Department of Energy system by surface and by annual budget. ORNL is located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, near Knoxville. ORNL's scientific programs focus on materials, neutron science, energy, high-performance computing, systems biology and national security. 

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Source: ORNL
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