Taiwan team designs new way to protect touchscreens

Panels would resist scratches, smudges and corrosion, university VP says

Researchers in Taiwan have obtained patents for a method of making diamond film to resist scratches and fingerprint smudges on the touchscreens of handheld devices such as smartphones, a university official in charge said.

After about 20 years of study, a team at National Taipei University of Technology figured out how to mix nano-diamond powder with a special chemical formula for a new kind of coating technology. The process makes a film for touchscreens, allowing them to resist smears, nicks and the early corrosion that may result from too much contact.

The diamond film can especially resist the oil and water that leave fingerprints on the front of frequently used touchscreens, answering a growing demand from flat panel makers.

That would give the users of handheld devices sharper, clearer images and allow their screens to bump into other objects without getting scratched, Taiwan's semi-official Central News Agency said in a comment on its website.

It's not the only technology of its kind, said Lin Chii-Iuey, project leader and National Taipei University of Technology vice president. But his technique can be executed more quickly than other methods, Lin said.

One major Taiwan firm is talking to the university about adopting its technology, he said, and others may follow.

"The technique isn't new, but my method is new," said Lin, who worked with more than 20 students to develop the technique. "It can save time and money for the manufacturers.

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Ralph Jennings

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