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Roughened glass surface cuts glare, reflection in display

Posted: 21 Jul 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:glass  glare  reflection  display 

A group of researchers has developed a novel glass surface that claims to reduce both glare and reflection—a problem that plagues even the best mobile displays, which requires the tilting of the device at just the right angle or investing in a special filter in order to clearly read or watch from the display on a sunny day.

In the highly competitive digital age, any bonus feature on a device gives it an edge. With this considered, the researchers saw a huge advantage in the efforts being poured into anti-reflective and anti-glare technology, which for the most part, however, has not been incorporated in displays.

One of the most promising developments involves layering anti-reflective nanostructures on top of an anti-glare surface. But the existing technique doesn't work well with glass—the material of choice for many electronic displays. Valerio Pruneri and his team at The Institute of Photonic Sciences, in collaboration with Prantik Mazumder's team at Corning Incorporated set out to find a new method to overcome this bottleneck.

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The glass surface combines micro- and nanoscale surface features to simultaneously generate antiglare, antireflection, and superhydrophobic properties. Source: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

On a very fine scale, they roughened a glass surface so it could scatter light and ward off glare but without hurting the glass's transparency. Then the researchers etched nano-size teeth into the surface to make it anti-reflective. In addition to achieving both of these visual traits, the researchers showed the textured surface repelled water, mimicking a lotus leaf.

Although the anti-glare roughening protects the nano-size glass teeth, further research is needed to ensure that the surface can withstand heavy touchscreen use, they say. They add that the method is inexpensive and can easily be scaled up for industry use.

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