'Willow Glass' screens to wrap around mobile devices

Ultra-thin glass could be used to create thinner, lighter phones and tablets

A new type of ultra-thin glass has been developed that can bend and "wrap" around devices, potentially revolutionising the shape and form of future consumer electronic technologies.

The new material, known as Willow Glass, has been developed by Corning - the same company that created ultra-strong Gorilla Glass, which is currently used in many smartphones and tablets - using its proprietary fusion process.

Willow Glass can be made as thin as 100 microns to increase the sensitivity of touchscreens, and can also support thinner backplanes and colour filters for both organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) and liquid crystal displays (LCDs).

Moreover, Willow Glass can be processed at temperatures of up to 500C - a capability that Corning says will enable the industry to pursue continuous "roll-to-roll" processes, similar to how newsprint is produced - that have been impossible until now (see video below).

"Displays become more pervasive each day and manufacturers strive to make both portable devices and larger displays thinner. Corning Willow Glass provides the substrate performance to maintain device quality in a thin and light form factor," said Dr Dipak Chowdhury, division vice president and Willow Glass program director.

"Currently manufacturing in a sheet-to-sheet process, we expect Corning Willow Glass to eventually allow customers to switch to high-throughput, efficient roll-to-roll processing, a long-awaited industry milestone."

Willow Glass could be used to make thinner, lighter mobile devices, or to make curved displays for immersive viewing or mounting on non-flat surfaces.

Corning is currently shipping samples of its Willow Glass to customers developing new display and touch applications, and is also collaborating with research institutions and equipment makers to develop an ecosystem of compatible process equipment.

However, Corning is not the only company experimenting with flexible screens for mobile devices. Although Plastic Logic pulled out of the e-reader business last month, it still plans to license its bendable plastic displays to OEMs, system integrators, and device manufacturers for applications such as paper replacement and rugged displays.

Meanwhile, mobile device manufacturer Samsung has shown flexible OLED displays inside rigid cases that kept the screens curved, and plans to launch mobile phones with flexible displays this year, with tablets and other portable devices to have these displays soon after.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sophie Curtis

Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?