Why the new iPhone screen doesn’t accumulate fingerprints

Thu, Jun 25, 2009


The new iPhone 3GS comes equipped with an oleophobic coating which helps prevent fingerprints from accumulating on the screen.  Take that FBI!

But how does it work, you ask?

To answer that question, Gizmodo was able to get a hold of everyone’s favorite scientist, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and in a pretty straight forward and easy to understand manner, Nye explains exactly how the new iPhone’s oleophobic coating works and how Apple was able to apply it to the iPhone

The new 3GS iPhone has a coating that helps you leave no, well hardly any, prints—fingerprints. The glass screen is coated with a polymer, a plastic that human skin oil doesn’t adhere to very well. People in the chemical bonding business like to call the finished surface “oleophobic.

…The Applers were able to do this by bonding this oleophobic polymer to glass. The polymer is an organic (from organisms) compound, carbon-based. The glass is nominally inorganic, silicon-based… solid rock. The trick is getting the one to stick to the other. Although it is nominally proprietary, this is probably done with a third molecule that sticks to silicon on one side and to carbon-based polymers on the other side.

via Gizmodo


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