Last July, Corning announced that germ-killing glass for mobile device screens could be less than two years away. Well, things are apparently progressing quickly. Yesterday, the company unveiled its Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass – although you can't buy a phone that features it quite yet.
"Corning’s Antimicrobial Gorilla Glass inhibits the growth of algae, mold, mildew, fungi, and bacteria because of its built-in antimicrobial property, which is intrinsic to the glass and effective for the lifetime of a device," says Corning Specialty Materials general manager James R. Steiner.
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The material consists of Gorilla Glass 3 containing embedded ionic silver, which is known for its ability to continuously kill microbes over an indefinite time period. That extra ingredient reportedly has no significant effect on the mechanical, optical, or dielectric properties of the glass.
Corning has demonstrated the potential for large-scale production of the glass, and is now working with a number of manufacturers to test it in various applications. Steelcase is already on board to use the material in its RoomWizard touchscreen room scheduling system. Along with its use in electronic devices, however, the glass could also end up being used as an antimicrobial coating on "frequently-touched interior architectural surfaces."
And for anyone who's wondering why antimicrobial smartphone glass is even needed, keep in mind that several studies have shown that the average phone contains more harmful bacteria than the flush lever in a men's public toilet.
More information on Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass can be found in the video below.