IIT Delhi develops a unique method to make glasses scratch-resistant
By siliconindia | Thursday, 09 November 2023, 02:59:15 PM IST
The researchers at IIT Delhi have discovered a unique method to make glasses more resistant to scratches. By depositing atomically thin two-dimensional materials like graphene onto glass surfaces, they have significantly increased their scratch durability. This is due to the unique properties of graphene, which make it both slippery and rigid. As we increasingly rely on glass-based interfaces in the digital age, the need for durable and flexible glass is more important than ever. Despite the rise of foldable electronics, the susceptibility of these devices to contact-induced damage like scratches and indents remains a challenge.
The research carried out by Sourav Sahoo working under the supervision of Prof. Nitya Nand Gosvami from the Materials Science and Engineering Department, and Prof. N. M. Anoop Krishnan from the Civil Engineering Department. The IIT researcher said, "Nanoscale scratch experiments on silica glass surfaces against hard diamond probes reveal that the graphene coating effectively transforms the glass surface into a highly smooth, ultra-low friction surface down to the regimes of superlubricity".
Prof Nitya Nand Gosvami said, "Moreover, the load-bearing ability of graphene shields the underlying glass from the applied pressure, which further mildens the damage from aggressive abrasion to minuscule surface depression". Prof. N.M. Anoop Krishnan, stated, "To put in perspective, graphene layers have one-millionth the thickness of human hair. Our computational model confirmed that such subnanometer-thin graphene layers act as a resilient shield for glasses, adept at safeguarding them from stresses during contacts".
According to the research team, scratches on glass surfaces not only ruin the appearance but also make it easier for the glass to crack. Since glass is not entirely scratch-proof, the only solution is to make it more scratch-resistant by altering the surface properties, specifically the friction. This study introduces a simple approach to developing ultra-scratch-resistant glass surfaces with the help of graphene nanocoatings. These coatings can be used in new-generation devices and applications, making them more durable and long-lasting. The research team believes that this method can be adopted for commercial applications in next-generation touch-screen displays in smartphones and tablets.
The IIT Delhi said the research paper titled “Superlubricity and Stress-Shielding of Graphene Enables Ultra Scratch-Resistant Glasses” was published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Along with Prof Nitya Nand Gosvami and Prof N. M. Anoop Krishnan, the research team also included Zhijiang Ye, Miami University at Oxford (Ohio, USA); research scholars Sourav Sahoo, Zuhaa Khan from the Materials Science and Engineering Department and Sajid Mannan, Utkarsh Tiwari from the Civil Engineering Department, IIT Delhi.
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