Thursday, June 25, 2009 [Tweets] [Favorites]

The iPhone 3GS’s Oleophobic Screen

Bill Nye (via John Gruber):

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. Chemical engineers get it to stay stuck by inducing compounds to diffuse or “inter-penetrate” into the polymer. The intermediate chemical is a “silane,” a molecule that has silicon and alkanes (chains of carbon atoms).

I was surprised and pleased to find that it really does work. Now, about the back of the phone…


I'm surprised that people like Gruber make it sound like this is something new and unexpectedly works well. Many of us have been using products like the Anti-Glare film from Power Suport on our iPhone 2Gs since the launched the iPhone. Not mainly to protect the screen, but to resist finger prints. I don't know if the technology is oleophobic, but it sure does work well.

Well, the great thing about the oleophobic screen is that it still looks and feels like glass.

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