A patent Samsung filed back in February last year has surfaced recently revealing that the company has worked on developing a self-healing oleophobic coating to be applied on the cover glass of mobile devices. This patent application from last year has been published this month by the World Intellectual Property Organization.
The coating is described as a “film” or “laminate” in the patent with its composition including compounds like polyhedral silsesquioxane and polyrotaxane. Keep in mind that oleophobic coatings for cover glass are not new. These coatings are meant to keep fingerprint spots off of the glass panel. Samsung’s patent mentions a self-healing coating.
Self-healing glass coating
It’s pertinent to not let your imagination run amok here. A self-healing oleophobic coating won’t miraculously repair the glass if it shatters on impact. The main purpose of this coating is to keep fingerprint spots at bay and it can do a reasonable job at that.
The coating may wear off with prolonged use of a smartphone so a self-healing oleophobic coating will simply ensure that the ability of the cover glass to withstand fingerprint spots doesn’t falter over time. It may also offer improved protection against nominal scratches and abrasions. It certainly won’t do anything to stop cracks.
With an increasing number of Samsung smartphones opting for a glass and metal sandwich design, it would make sense for the company to start applying a more durable oleophobic coating to its handsets. It will be useful for its customers in the long run as well, particularly since people seem to be holding on to their flagship smartphones for longer these days owing to the rising prices in the high-end segment.
It’s pertinent to mention here that Samsung has merely patented this right now and it’s not known for sure if and when it will start using this coating for its smartphones. The company did reveal its unbreakable display glass recently which is more durable than Corning’s latest Gorilla Glass 6. We’ll likely see that technology come to market first before this self-healing oleophobic coating does. The two would make for a good pair, though.