Superhydrophobic – might replace your LCD/LED display

Posted: May 8, 2014 in Technology

It was a decade ago when people used to get astonished and baffled if they come across the ‘waterproof electronic device’ word. In today’s world, we have got water proof mobiles, self healing screen-guards, anti-corrosion iron rods and what not! These wonders are undoubtedly achieved through the hydrophobic coatings.

With the increasing awareness of this superhydrophobic coating which is nothing but the nanoscopic layer that repels water; it has increased its potential use in almost all the daily use products. This same element that keep your devices water resistant & smudge free could one day also be used to entertain us while we laze about on the couch. Today I will take you through one of the jaw dropping possibility and potential usage of superhydrophobic coating.

Displays might just be made of Air & Water!

Nope, I am not DRUNK! Days are not far when we will be introduced to the LED/LCD less displays which are made up of just air and water. Researchers at Aalto University in Finland have successfully evolved a unique display technology that consists of just air and water, instead of LCDs or LEDs. This is made possible through the superhydrophobic surfaces which are water resistant coating.

Impressive, huh! Or rather mind jolting isn’t it? I suppose your eyes are still wide open and your facial expression shows curiosity! If not, then check out the video below that shows the implementation of this technology.

Still wondering what is the science behind that? Or how exactly superhydrophobic coating is responsible for that? The secret behind this technology is multi-level hydrophobic surface that repels water and traps air. Has that already started to make sense now? The researchers immersed a dual-structured, superhydrophobic surface covered with the tiny posts under water. These posts are just ten micrometers in size that are each covered with even smaller nanofilaments. Using an accurate nozzle that doubles as a printing head, the fellow researchers are able to switch the surface between wet and dry, even though the surface is totally submerged underwater the entire time. Because of this property, they’re able to write, draw complex designs and images like an inkjet printer does.

By now you must have got the idea of what Nokia could come up with in the future. After the Oleophobic coating based fingerprint feature, one can also expect a Smartphone that will bear the above property. Of course it has got a long journey to undergo until it actually spread its roots in our daily life, but eventually, might be, all our digital display devices might attain the ultimate act of enlightenment and can be made of nothing but air and water.

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