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SCHOTT solutions no. 1/2013 > Touch panels

The left half of the photo with CONTURAN® DARO and the right without. This anti-reflective oleophobic coating clearly resists soiling from fingerprints or moisture on touch displays. Photo: SCHOTT/C. Costard

No More Fingerprints

For the first time ever, the anti-reflective coating CONTURAN® DARO combines a coating that reduces reflections with a film that protects the cover glasses used in professional touch displays from soiling.

Alexander Lopez

Love is blind – this saying also applies to a popular everyday commodity: touch displays. After all, the more we swipe our fingers over these touch-sensitive surfaces, the more fingerprints and soil we leave behind. For professional displays, this unpleasant side effect of a very successful technology may well be coming to an end. Together with the U.S. company JDSU, SCHOTT has developed CONTURAN® DARO (= permanently anti-reflective and oleophobic), the first soil resistant and easy to clean, antireflective coating for technical touch displays and interactive kiosk systems. It will be used in the displays in public spaces or consoles in amusement arcades, but also in devices used in industrial, marine and medical technology.

CONTURAN® DARO is ideal for use in technical and public displays. Photo: Thinkstock

Dr. Marten Walther, Head of Application Development at SCHOTT Advanced Optics, describes the advantages as follows: “By making special modifications to the solgel layer, we
were able to combine the oleophobic anti-fingerprint coating from JDSU with our anti-reflective CONTURAN® layer in a uniquely permanent manner. By doing so, we achieve previously unknown durability.” CONTURAN® DARO withstands mechanical friction far more than 450,000 times and remains stable even after more than 90 days of being sprayed with salt. In other words, it also stands up to chemical wear from the salt contained in ­human sweat. At the same time, this coating reduces reflections by more than 90 percent. Even intensive typing on the front panel of a display screen caused hardly any fingerprints. The coating ensures not only viewing that is virtually free of reflections, but also repels dirt and grease.

”The touch display market has been demanding this type of resistant and permanently anti-reflective coating for some time.”

Uwe Wilkens, SCHOTT Product Manager
”What people like most is how easy it is to clean. With CONTURAN® DARO, all you need to do is wipe over the display twice and the dirty surface will be clean,” Uwe Wilkens notes. ”The touch display market has been demanding this type of resistant and permanently anti-reflective coating that preserves the full optical quality of the display in combination with an oleophobic surface for quite some time,” the SCHOTT Product Manager adds. In the meantime, SCHOTT has taken initial manufacturing orders from Europe for use in industrial applications. Mass manufacturing is already underway at the site in Grünenplan, Germany. <
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