Not only obvious components such as display screen protection glass are paving the way for the device designs of tomorrow, but specialty glasses from SCHOTT are also positioned to revolutionize sensors, chips and antenna designs due to their physical compatibility with silicon.
Smartphone users share an average of more than 2,500 daily touches with their mobile device. This high number comes from fingertip swipes and app usage, making a relationship between users and the device’s display protection glasses. What is much less obvious: It is also glass that performs important tasks inside the mobile devices, for example in sensors and chips.
Modern high-end smartphones now allow digital photography with a resolution of 10 or more megapixels. Most people are aware of the fact that not only the mere number of pixels is responsible for the quality of images. Besides the so-called CMOS sensors, the filters placed in front of it have a major impact on the true-color and realistic appearance of photographs. High-quality filters are made of glass, as are the protective glasses that protect the camera module from scratches.
The filter plays a vital role: it is an absorbing near-infrared cutoff filter (NIR cutoff filter).
“Whenever someone shoots a high resolution photo with a high-end smartphone or a digital single-lens reflex camera, the picture was probably created with an infrared cutoff filter,” says Andreas Haedrich, director of sales for Europe at SCHOTT Advanced Optics.
SCHOTT has been advancing the development of its ultra-thin glass for many years. With industrially manufactured thicknesses of down to 30 micrometers, the ultra-thin glass penetrates into spheres that hardly anyone would associate with glass. Glass thinner than a human hair offers a wide range of application possibilities in electronics.
Whether designed to be a display protection glass, a cover for fingerprint sensors or a cover for camera chips or lenses, thin glasses are predisposed for use in electronic components due to their special material properties. Yet even much more is possible. Thanks to its flexibility, ultra-thin glass already allows for the curved device designs of tomorrow.
SCHOTT AS 87 eco is a specialty glass that is suited for these types of applications. The glass delivers an ultra-thin and ready to use thickness range, is extremely robust and flexible, and offers unique physical properties.
Just like SCHOTT AS 87 eco, SCHOTT MEMpax is also pulled directly from the melt using the down-draw process. This glass is ideally suited for anodic bonding. It can be joined with silicon, the chemical element that is the basis for ever-faster computer chips, processors and sensors in the semiconductor industry, by using a special process.
MEMpax is already used today in sensors in the automotive industry that measure tire and oil pressure. Here, the glass is joined to silicon by pressure, heating and tension and provides reliable measurement results as a part of a micromechanical system (also called MEMS or microelectromechanical systems).