Scientists recently reported in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
that they've developed a novel glass
surface that reduces both glare and reflection, which continue to plague even the best mobile displays today. Valerio Pruneri, group leader at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), and colleagues note that much effort has been poured into anti-reflective and anti-glare technology. In the highly competitive digital age, any bonus feature on a device gives it an edge. For the most part, however, that hasn't included an integrated anti-glare, anti-reflective display. Users typically still have to dish out extra cash for a filter or film—some of questionable effectiveness—to lie on top of their glass screens so they can use the devices in bright light.
One of the most promising developments involves layering anti-reflective nano-structures on top of an anti-glare surface. But the existing technique doesn't work well with glass, which is the material of choice for many electronic displays, so Pruneri's team at ICFO, in collaboration with researcher Prantik Mazumder's team at Corning Inc., set out to find a new method.
On a very fine scale, the researchers roughened a glass surface so it could scatter light and ward off glare without hurting the glass' 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.