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「 ArmoGlass™」, an ultra-hard anti-scratch thin-film coating technology


DEPARTMENT : Department of Physics

PRODUCER : Professor Cheah Kok-wai
PROJECT YEAR : 2014 - current
LENGTH : 6 min.
ACCESS : Open to all
SUMMARY : Professor Cheah Kok-wai, Chair Professor in Physics, and his team developed a submicron ultra-hard thin-film coating technology, which can be applied to all electronic devices including smartphones and tablets. ArmoGlass™ is a technology trademark for application with the unique process. Compared with the existing less durable and easily scratched glass cover on mobile devices, ArmoGlass™ is also non-fragile, and in which the coated thin-film can provide an excellent scratch protection to the surface. Besides, the manufacturing process of ArmoGlass™ is cost-effective and high-throughput capability, which is suitable for mass production.

Professor Cheah says, “Currently, glass that is vulnerable to scratches is commonly used as the cover-screen of mobile electronic devices. Sapphire covered glass can also provide excellent protection from scratches, however this alternative involves high costs and processing is complex. ArmoGlass™, a new technology invented at HKBU, is a transparent glass substrate fabricated with a layer of nano-material which has ultra-hard and anti-scratch properties. The surface hardness of ArmoGlass™ has been proved to be comparable with the single crystal sapphire, which is hard but fragile. Hence, ArmoGlass™ is an ideal substrate for the touch screen devices, which is tough, tensile and ultra-hard anti-scratch."

Professor Cheah adds that the coating process can be completed by using common industrial deposition equipment, which is already mature in flat-panel display industry. Therefore, ArmoGlass™ is ready to be scaled-up for mass production.

To commercialize this HKBU technology and begin pilot production, Professor Cheah and his team established Cathay Photonics Limited with the fund granted by the Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities, which is set up by the Government's Innovation and Technology Commission. Also, a full US patent for this technology was filed in March 2015.

The HKBU Innovationem Award 2015  

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