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24.11.2016, Mainz, Germany

New ultra-thin and yet strong SCHOTT protection glass helps taking smartphones to the next level

Ultra-thin special glass “SCHOTT AS 87 eco” protects displays of smartphones and wearables, fingerprint sensors and camera lenses from scratches and cracks with high strength material
  • Technical properties and thickness levels of 70-350 micrometers ensure highest performance and allow bended or folded designs of the future
  • Environment-friendly with no need for hazardous hydrofluoric acid slimming
  • “Made in Germany”
The leading international technology group SCHOTT introduces an ultra-thin, high strength and environment-friendly glass with a super sleek surface quality. It is capable of securing smartphones and tablets from the challenges of everyday life. Smartphone vendors can use the brand new “SCHOTT AS 87 eco” as a protective glass for flexible displays, camera lenses and fingerprint sensors to secure these sensitive parts unfailingly from scratches and cracks. Due to the innovative production process, SCHOTT is the only manufacturer worldwide who is able to manufacture the chemically toughenable ultra-thin glass without any necessity of harmful acids for post-slimming.

If you take a look at the evolution of the latest smartphones and tablets over the last years, then more powerful displays, camera lenses and sensors are the unique characteristics of contemporary devices. Unsurprisingly, that fabricators of such devices are interested in securing the sensitive electronic high-tech parts from outside influences to ensure a device’s life-long functionality as reliably as possible. SCHOTT now introduces an ultra-thin protective glass which is as flexible as plastics and yet tough, age-resistant and aesthetic like glass. Customers benefit from much better devices – in the end, modern displays, sensors and camera lenses will only be able to deliver the highest performance as long as the securing glass does not at all restrict the feature’s potential.

“SCHOTT AS 87 eco is the world’s first environment-friendly glass in this field which perfectly secures a smartphone’s sensitive electronic and optical components without carrying weight – it is the answer to the demand of our customers in the consumer electronics industry”, says Dr. Jack Ju, Head of Global Product Management Camera Imaging/Display at SCHOTT. “As an example, a number of the top 10 smartphone brands in China have already qualified AS 87 eco glass for their fingerprint sensor covers”.

SCHOTT recognizes an increased demand for fingerprint sensors in the Asian consumer electronics market. The user-friendly implementation of such a sensor to the successful Apple iPhone makes the adoption of this “killer feature” highly attractive to vendors of Android smartphones: “Fingerprint sensors improve the level of data security in more and more devices, thanks to the trend set by the iPhone. No surprise that manufacturers of Android smartphones are very interested in implementing such a reliable feature to their competing products. As we know, the demand for both fingerprint sensors and protective solutions currently increases in a significant amount. Our premium solution ‘made of glass’ arrives just in time”, says Albert Chen, Managing Director SCHOTT China.

The glass satisfies fingerprint sensor covers with its ultra-thin thickness and a thickness tolerance below ± 10 micrometers – this makes sure, that customers always receive their glass in the best quality possible. With a dielectric constant (1 MHz) of 7.7 and its homogenous structure, the glass delivers excellent permittivity for electric fields – combined with the very low thickness tolerance levels, these criteria of AS 87 eco have a positive impact on the performance of fingerprint sensors.

Combination of best-in-class quality and eco-friendliness

SCHOTT AS 87 eco complies with the international RoHS and REACH standard, is free of hazardous substances and available in thicknesses from 70 to 350 micrometers.

AS 87 eco with a thickness of 70 micrometers reaches a bending radius as low as three millimeters and enables curved device designs of the future: “Especially foldable and bended smartphones or wearables benefit from the features”, Chen adds.

Sustainably developed and produced in Germany

SCHOTT always had an eye on the movements of the Asian market while developing AS 87 eco. Based on the deep production and processing knowledge of SCHOTT’s innovations centers in Germany, the different applications of the glass are being developed in Asia. In contrast to other vendors of ultra-thin slimmed glass, SCHOTT eliminates the use of hydrofluoric acid within the slimming process, a harmful and health-damaging material. Usually glass processors use acid etching for extra thinning. Thanks to the SCHOTT down draw process for direct hot forming, the molten glass is pulled through a nozzle in the desired thickness levels. This proved and entrenched method guarantees a solid and dependable supply chain for mass production. SCHOTT also offers genuine technical support and counsels producers of electronic devices, who are interested in using the innovative glass. This leads to fast learning curves at lower ramp up costs for the customers.

SCHOTT AS 87 eco is globally available as from today. The ultra-thin and high strength special glass is introduced to the public during C-Touch exhibition which takes place in Shenzhen (China) from November 24 to 26. A product video at the SCHOTT website shows the abilities of the glass “in action”. The page also includes a detailed datasheet with technological properties of the glass.

The advantages of SCHOTT AS 87 eco at a glance:

  • Ultra-thin: With thickness levels from 70 to 350 micrometers the glass is suitable for various fields. No extra thinning with hydrofluoric acid needed.
  • High strength: After an ion exchange toughening process extremely high impact and bending strength can be achieved. This enables thinner, sleeker and more sensitive devices without compromising on strength.
  • Geometrical properties: Tight thickness tolerance of just ± 10 micrometers or lower – similar products available deliver tolerance levels of ± 25 micrometers. Minimum TTV and warp against slimmed products.
  • Aesthetic appeal: Pristine fire polished, razor-thin cover glass for a clear visual quality. Superior low defect counts and excellent roughness.
  • Environment-friendly: SCHOTT AS 87 eco is environment-friendly and complies with the regulations of RoHS and REACH. It is done without acid slimming and does not contain hazardous substances.

SCHOTT is a leading international technology group in the areas of specialty glass and glass-ceramics. The company has more than 130 years of outstanding development, materials and technology expertise and offers a broad portfolio of high-quality products and intelligent solutions. SCHOTT is an innovative enabler for many industries, including the home appliance, pharmaceutical, electronics, optics, automotive and aviation industries. SCHOTT strives to play an important part of everyone’s life and is committed to innovation and sustainable success. The group maintains a global presence with production sites and sales offices in 35 countries. With its workforce of approximately 15,000 employees, sales of 1.93 billion euros were generated in fiscal year 2014/2015. The parent company, SCHOTT AG, has its headquarters in Mainz (Germany) and is solely owned by the Carl Zeiss Foundation. As a foundation company, SCHOTT assumes special responsibility for its employees, society and the environment.
Press contact
Michael Müller
Public Relations Manager
Hattenbergstraße 10
55122 Mainz
Phone: +49 6131/66-4088
Further information
Salvatore Ruggiero
Vice President Marketing and Communication
Hattenbergstraße 10
55122 Mainz
Phone: +49 6131/66-4140