If we can overlook the unmitigated disaster that is the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung has, by and large, had a pretty good year. The company’s S7 lineup proved to be extremely popular both with reviewers and consumers, and leaks surrounding next year’s Galaxy S8 are pretty intriguing.
As we highlighted earlier today, some rumors claim that the S8 will feature a 5.2-inch 4K display and will come jam-packed with a 3.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 6GB of RAM and more.
But the Samsung Galaxy S8 isn’t the only Samsung smartphone we’ve seen make waves in the rumor mill this week. According to a report from TechRadar, Samsung’s 2018 Galaxy S9 may take water resistance to the next level thanks to a recent deal the company recently inked with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), an R&D lab that falls under the purview of the U.S. Department of Energy.
As part of the agreement, Samsung is now the exclusive licensor of an advanced screen coating that is not just water resistant, but is designed to “actively repel liquid.”
Per the report, ORNL’s screen technology is designed such that water “literally bounces off” of screens that have the specialized coating.
ORNL’s press release reads in part:
ORNL’s development of a transparent coating that repels water that carries away dust and dirt, reduces light reflection and resists fingerprints and smudges resulted from approximately three years of superhydrophobic research on glass-based coatings.
“The thin nanostructured layer of porous glass film enables these combined properties, making it suitable for commercial applications,” said ORNL’s Tolga Aytug, co-inventor of the technology.
To be superhydrophobic, a surface must achieve a water droplet contact angle exceeding 150 degrees. ORNL’s coating has a contact angle of between 155 and 165 degrees, so water literally bounces off, taking away dust particles.
Samsung sees a wide array of uses for the technology and is interested in using ORNL’s specially formulated glass on a number of products, including tablets, smartphones and essentially any other electronic display that one would see on products like home ovens and refrigerators.