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Sunday, 22 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Technologies, Functional coatings

New antireflective coating makes screen reading in sunlight easier

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Screens on even the newest phones and tablets can be hard to read outside in bright sunlight. Inspired by the nanostructures found on moth eyes, researchers have developed a new antireflective coating that could keep people from having to run to the shade to look at their mobile devices.

New antireflective coating makes reading in sunlight easier. Source: Pixabay

New antireflective coating makes reading in sunlight easier. Source: Pixabay

The moth-eye-like nanostructure was fabricated by an imprinting process onto a flexible substrate with a thin hard-coating film.

Inspired by nature

The proposed nanostructure exhibits excellent antireflection (AR) with luminous reflectance < 0.23% and haze below 1% with indistinguishable image quality deterioration. A rigorous numerical model is developed to simulate and optimise the optical behaviours. Excellent agreement between the experiment and simulation is obtained. Meanwhile, the nanostructure shows robust mechanical characteristics (pencil hardness > 3  H), which is favourable for touch panels. A small bending radius (8 mm) was also demonstrated, which makes the proposed nanostructure applicable for flexible displays.

Improved hydrophobicity

Additionally, a fluoroalkyl coating was applied onto the moth-eye-like surface to improve the hydrophobicity (with a water contact angle > 100°). Such a self-cleaning feature helps protect touch panels from dust and fingerprints. The proposed moth-eye-like AR film is expected to find widespread applications for sunlight readable flexible and curved displays.

The study is published in: Optica, Vol. 4, Issue 7, 2017

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