Transparent Superhydrophobic Film Coatings For Electronic Devices

Scientists from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed optically clear superhydrophobic film technology. It improves the performance of glass displays on smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices.

Transparent Superhydrophobic Film Coatings For Electronic Devices
An ORNL-developed thin glass film with superhydrophobic properties repels water that carries away dust and dirt, reduces light reflection and resists fingerprints and smudges. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The coating repels water that carries away dust and dirt.Additionally, it reduces light reflection, resists fingerprints and smudges resulted from approximately three years of superhydrophobic research on glass-based coatings.

It consists of a layer of the porous glass film. Thus, it enables those combine properties by making it suitable for commercial applications.

The superhydrophobic film achieves a water droplet contact angle exceeding 150 degrees. But, ORNL’s superhydrophobic film has a contact angle of between 155 and 165 degrees. Thus water literally bounces off, taking away dust particles.

Scientists developed this technology by depositing a thin glass film on a glass surface.

Transparent Superhydrophobic Film Coatings For Electronic Devices
ORNL’s Tolga Aytug uses thermal processing and etching capabilities to produce a transparent superhydrophobic coating technology licensed by Samsung Electronics to improve the performance of glass displays on electronic devices. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

They then heat the coated glass to transform the surface into two material compositions. Thus, a specific etching process generates a porous three-dimensional network of high silica content glass. It simulates microscopic coral and enables water-repellent and antireflective properties.

This superhydrophobic film has an essential potential to be used inside solar panels, lenses, detectors, windows and many other products.

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