The biggest pain point of current-generation foldable phones is the use of plastic screens, instead of glass displays. That might change in the future, as one company called Akhan Semiconductor, is developing bendable glass screens that could be used by leading OEMs in their upcoming foldable devices.
US-based Akhan Semiconductor has created Miraj Diamond Glass, a material made from lab-grown nano-diamond materials. Diamond Glass is said to be six times stronger, 10 times harder, and runs over 800x cooler than Gorilla Glass.
“Nano-diamond is actually semi-flexible by itself, and we can coat flexible glass,” Adam Khan, CEO & Founder, Akhan Semiconductor, told CNET in an interview. The advantages of Diamond Glass are many, claims Khan. Besides being strong and bendable in nature, Diamond Glass could also coat a foldable phone’s chassis. This means that smartphone manufacturers may not need to use steel enforcements within the phone to “support a superthin screen on top.”
Another advantage of Miraj Diamond Glass is that it repels water and surface oils without requiring additional oleophobic coating (oil-repellent) that protects the screen. Additionally, Diamond Glass is also capable of increasing power density as well as making the screen cooler to touch.
Khan did not specify which smartphone manufacturer is willing to use his patented Miraj Diamond Glass solution. But he did mention that some OMEs have actually praised Miraj Diamond Glass.
Akhan Semiconductor rival Corning, which supplies glass screens for Apple’s iPhones, is also working on the flexible screen glass product. As reported by Wired in 2019, Corning is apparently working on a 0.1-millimeter thick flexible bendable glass that can fold to the 5-millimeter radius.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip could use ultra-thin glass display
The first foldable smartphone with a bendable glass screen is coming sooner than expected. Samsung is likely to launch the Galaxy Z Flip foldable smartphone that will use an ultra-thin glass display. However, Samsung will also use a plastic sheet on top of the glass screen for added protection. This will significantly reduce scratches and dents from the display. Samsung plans to launch the Galaxy Z Flip, alongside the Galaxy S20 series and Galaxy Buds + on February 11.