Sapphire displays smartphones give unprecedented strength




Fiction | Sapphire displays smartphones give unprecedented strength

LED Sapphire Products

Artificial sapphire, which is used as the transparent armor on military vehicles became cheap enough material that can replace the glass on the mobile phone display. This could mean that soon the screens of smartphones get more high protection against scratches and damage , even in the event of a fall onto concrete.

Sapphire crystal aluminum oxide may never be cheaper than Gorilla Glass , a material with high strength, developed by Corning for screen protection Apple iPhone and smartphones from other manufacturers. If the display is Gorilla Glass is cheaper three dollars, the display of sapphire will cost 10 times as much – $ 30. But just a few years, the price could drop below $ 20. This will be aided by increasing competition and improving technology, says Eric Virey, an analyst at Yole Développement, which specializes in market research. Sapphire glass is inferior in strength, so the deciding factor in increasing competition will be the price.

Sapphire firmer any other natural material except diamond. By some estimates, blue stone three times stronger than Gorilla Glass, and as many times greater than its resistance to scratching. This explains why Apple has chosen him to protect the camera on your smartphone, iPhone 5. According to Mr. Vireo, the world’s largest manufacturers of smartphones already considering switching from glass to sapphire.

“I am convinced that the first sapphire phones appear in 2013,”

– Says the analyst.

To date, alternative sapphire is a laminate consisting of ultrafine layer of sapphire and other, cheaper transparent material. Moreover, its performance almost as good as a pure sapphire, and the cost is comparable to a standard glass, which is widely used in displays of mobile devices.


GT Advanced Technologies company, headquartered in Nashua (New Hampshire, USA) is committed to trying to create a sapphire plate thinner than a human hair – much thinner millimeter glass used in smartphones. It is worth noting that the original technology developed to reduce the thickness of solar cells.

GT also is on the way to reduce the cost of production of sapphire following a strategy to reduce the cost of crystalline silicon solar cells photosensitive.

Sapphire is produced by melting aluminum oxide in an oven, followed by cooling to the formation of large crystals. The resulting solid is cut wire saw with a diamond-coated in crumbs. GT furnace for melting allow upgrades, which allows production of large crystals without buying new equipment.

GT more optimistic about prices than Yole Développement. According to the manufacturer, sapphire displays can exceed the cost of Gorilla Glass, but no more than three or four times. The company said they expect further price reductions through improved equipment.

On reducing the cost of production of sapphire also operate several other companies, including American Rubicon Technologies, Russian “single crystal” and Sapphire Technology, based in South Korea. If we can achieve significant cost savings, these manufacturers can get a huge market. But no matter how they try, they will have to compete with established technologies – Gorilla Glass and similar materials from other manufacturers .

This year, Corning introduced a new generation of Gorilla Glass , which is twice as resistant to scratches than previous material. In mobile devices, the new technology will appear later this year.

Tags: Gorilla Glass , GT Advanced Technologies , Artificial sapphire , Materials

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