Thinning and Coating Process of Mobile Phone Cover Glass

According to the needs of various terminal applications, glass cover panels require various optical glass processing processes such as cutting, edging, drilling, polishing, thinning, chemical strengthening, printing, laser engraving and coating. Today we will introduce the thinning and coating of mobile phone cover glass, which are the most important parts of the whole manufacturing process.

Cover glass thinning process

The glass mentioned in this article is not the 3mm, 5mm, 8mm or even 10mm glass for civil use, but the cover glass for electronic products such as smartphones and tablet computers. Among the glasses currently on the market, the thinnest is 0.15 mm. There is a special thinning process that reduces the thickness of the glass.

Since Steve Jobs started using Corning Gorilla Glass for his iPhones, there emerges a new component for electronic products—cover glass. At the same time, the pursuit of thinner and lighter in the industry is also urging glass manufacturers to make changes to make thinner cover glass.

iPhone cover glass
iPhone cover glass

Currently, the thinnest glass of gorilla can be made 0.4mm, and the Asahi Glass can make 0.2mm glass. In general, people’s expectations for cover glass are nothing more than two:

1. Reduce the space occupied by the glass.

2. Make the glass cover a certain flexibility.

Mobile phone cover glass thinning process

There are not many processes for glass cover thinning: pre-cleaning—etching and thinning—–secondary cleaning——-grinding (single or double sided)—–post-cleaning—–check the package

Pre-cleaning: Remove the stain on the surface of the glass cover. It is one of the key steps affecting the effect of thinning.

Etching and thinning:  using acid and alkali to etch the glass cover achieve the purpose of thinning. The conditions and parameters (time, potash ratio, temperature, etc.) vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, which is the technical secret of the manufacturer.

Secondary cleaning: Clean the residue of the glass cover.

Grinding: To obtain a bright, flat surface. It is one of the key processes for appearance assurance and thickness tolerance control.

Post-cleaning: Clean the remaining grinding powder.

Check the packaging: The standard for the appearance of the glass is different depending on the requirements of the customer.

Mobile phone cover glass thinning treatment

1, multiple pieces of upright soak

2, waterfall flow processing

3, single piece vertical spray

Cover glass coating process

At present, vacuum magnetron sputtering coating technology is a widely used thin film deposition technology. The continuous development of sputtering technology and the exploration of new functional films have enabled the application of magnetron sputtering coating technology to be extended to many productions and scientific research fields.

magnetron sputtering system

magnetron sputtering coating applications

In the field of microelectronics, as a non-thermal coating technology, magnetron sputtering coating technology is mainly applied to materials that are not suitable for chemical vapor deposition or metal organic chemical vapor deposition. Moreover, using magnetron sputtering can obtain a large-area uniform film.

Magnetron sputtering technology is also used in optical films such as antireflection glass, low emissivity glass and transparent conductive glass. In the production of transparent conductive glass, the ITO conductive glass prepared by sputtering has an average transmittance of 90% or more in the visible light range.

In the modern machining industry, the use of magnetron sputtering technology to produce surface functional films, super hard films and self-lubricating films can effectively improve surface hardness, composite toughness, wear resistance and high temperature resistance and chemical stability, thus improve the service life of coated products.

In addition, magnetron sputtering coating technology also plays an important role in the research of high temperature superconducting thin films, ferroelectric thin films, giant magnetoresistive thin films, thin film luminescent materials, solar cells, and memory alloy thin films.

Magnetron sputtering coating advantages

Magnetron sputtering coating technology has become one of the main technologies of the industrial coating due to its remarkable advantages:

(1) Simple operation and easy control. In the coating process, if the sputtering conditions such as working pressure and electric power are relatively stable, the deposition rate is relatively stable.

(2) The deposition rate is high. When depositing most of the metal, especially the high melting point metal and oxide, such as tungsten, aluminum TiO2 and ZrO2 film, it has a high deposition rate.

(3) Low temperature of the substrate. Compared to two-pole sputtering or thermal evaporation, magnetron sputtering reduces the heating of the substrate, which is quite advantageous for achieving the sputter coating of the fabric.

(4) The sputtered film is strong. The sputtered film has excellent adhesion to the substrate and its mechanical strength is also improved.

(5) The sputtered film is dense and uniform. From the photomicrograph, the surface morphology of the sputtered film is fine and uniform.

(6)The sputtered films all have excellent properties. For example, sputtered metal films generally achieve good optical properties, electrical properties, and certain special properties.

(7) Easy to mass produce. The magnetron source can be expanded as required, so large-area coatings are achievable. In addition, sputtering can work continuously, and the coating process is easy to control automatically, so that the industrial assembly line can be realized.

(8) Environmentally friendly. Conventional wet plating produces waste liquid, waste residue, and exhaust gas, causing serious pollution to the environment. The magnetron sputtering coating method has high production efficiency while does not cause environmental pollution.

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Differences between vacuum evaporation and sputter coating

It is well known that vacuum coating has two common methods: vacuum evaporation and sputter coating. However, many people have doubts about the difference between evaporation and sputter coating. Let SAM Sputter Targets answer it for you.

sputter coating3First, let’s take a look at the definition of these two words. The vacuum evaporation is carried out by means of resistance heating, electron beam or laser bombardment in an environment with a vacuum of not less than 10-2 Pa, and the evaporation material is heated to a certain temperature to evaporate or sublimate a large number of molecules or atoms, and then directly deposited on a substrate to form a film. Continue reading “Differences between vacuum evaporation and sputter coating”