Professor Cheah Kok-wai’s many research endeavours include the development of novel materials for displays, optical communication and imaging.


謝國偉教授的科研專長包括研發用於顯示、光學通訊及顯像的新物料。

The new HKBU invention can be deposited onto various types of substrate including quartz, fused silica and silicon.


浸大研發的新物料可與不同材料,如石英、熔融矽石或矽結合後鍍於基板上。  

Date: 27 May 2015 (Wednesday)

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Physics scholar invents ultra-hard anti-scratch cover for touch screen devices

浸大研創超強硬度抗刮輕觸顯示屏薄膜

HKBU Physics scholar and his team developed a submicron thin film that is ultra-hard, non-fragile and scratch resistant for use as covers on electronic devices including smartphones and tablets. Compared with the existing less durable and easily scratched glass cover on mobile devices, this non-fragile thin substrate can be applied to screens providing excellent scratch protection. Its manufacturing cost is approximately half that of sapphire covered glass.
 
Professor Cheah Kok-wai, Chair Professor of the Department of Physics, said, “Currently, glass that is vulnerable to scratches is commonly used to make screens for mobile electronic devices. Sapphire cover glass can also provide excellent protection from scratches, however this alternative involves high costs and processing is complex.
 
ArmoGlass®, a new material invented at HKBU, is a layer of nano-materials that have ultra-hard and anti-scratch properties and can be deposited onto a transparent substrate, ideal for use on touch screen devices. Its hardness is proved to be comparable to the hardness of single crystal sapphire, which although hard is fragile. Hence, our team developed this nano-materials sapphire that provides an ultra-hard and strong surface.”
 
Professor Cheah added that the fabricated layer can be deposited onto various types of substrate including quartz, fused silica and silicon. The fabrication process can be completed using standard industrial deposition processes; therefore production can be scaled-up with minimal development time.
 
To commercialise this HKBU technology and begin pilot production, Professor Cheah and his team established a company using the fund granted by the Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities set up by the Government’s Innovation and Technology Commission. After having applied for a US provisional patent last year, a full US patent has been filed in March this year.

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Professor Cheah’s team proves that HKBU’s submicron material achieves a hardness superior to tempered glass (existing mobile phone protection stickers) yet just slightly lower than sapphire.
 

浸大物理系學者與其團隊研發出可用於智能手機及平板電腦等輕觸顯示屏的亞微米超硬、強韌、抗刮薄膜。目前,流動電子產品普遍採用較易刮花的玻璃屏幕,浸大新發明的薄膜更耐用、強韌度更高,並易於鍍在顯示屏上,提供極佳的抗刮保護,而且生產成本只是藍寶石玻璃顯示屏幕約一半。
 
物理系講座教授謝國偉教授說﹕「現時,流動電子儀器通常採用較容易刮花的玻璃屏幕,而採用單晶藍寶石玻璃屏幕雖能提供超強抗刮保護,但生產成本高,加工亦較困難。
 
浸大新研發的物料ArmoGlass®(「鐵甲玻璃」),是一層非常堅硬、抗刮能力高的納米物料,可以鍍在透明基板上,是輕觸顯示屏的理想物料。實驗證明新薄膜的硬度可媲美單晶藍寶石,然而藍寶石堅硬但易碎。因此,我與團隊研究將此納米物料與藍寶石結合,製造出堅硬而強韌的薄膜。」
 
謝教授表示,該納米物料更可與不同材料,如石英、熔融矽石或矽結合後鍍於基板上。結合過程簡單,使用標準的工業薄膜沉積技術便可,有助增加生產量。
 
謝教授與團隊善用創新科技署大學科技初創企業資助計劃的撥款,成立一間公司,將此項科研成果商品化,並已投入試驗性生產。團隊已就此項技術向美國申請專利。
 
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謝教授與團隊證實浸大研發的新物料比強化玻璃(一般智能手機保護貼)更堅硬,只稍微僅次於藍寶石。