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Seeking Waterproof, Anti-Scratch or Anti-Fingerprint Coatings / Surface Treatments for Electronic Devices

Background / Description

IPI is working with our Open Innovation partner in UK whose client is a leading developer of functional nano-coatings and application equipment for the protection of electronic devices, supplying to manufacturers (ODM and OEM) to apply during manufacturing and assembly processes. They serve manufacturers who require increasing functionality for electronic devices, and smart coatings which allow the end product to retain all the aesthetic and performance properties it was designed with, despite demanding use by consumers and any environmental influences.

The client wishes to augment their existing platform to deliver additional functional coatings to assist manufacturers of electronic devices, in particular mobile phones. The client has identified the properties most synergistic with its capabilities and those actively pursued by their clients and end customers. They wish to collaborate with appropriate technology partners that can achieve waterproof, anti-scratch or durable anti-fingerprint properties via coatings, surface treatment (for glass, aluminium, etc.) or system innovation which can be incorporated into their existing coating platform.

Technical Specifications

Properties of interest

  • Waterproof (IPx7 and IPx8) – Solutions to protect the entire device (without use of bulky sealing parts), specifically addressing the air gaps required for the effective operation of components such as LCD, camera, speaker, microphone, sensors
  • Anti-scratch – High performance to protect against everyday abrasion
  • Durable anti-fingerprint – Permanent oleophobic (oil-repellent) surface


Enabling technologies to achieve above properties

  • Enhanced bonding for oil repellent treatments
  • Selective coating/treatment in automated / high-speed environment (e.g. for combining treatments)
  • Self-healing solutions (e.g. to allow durable coatings to be maintained) and longer lasting
  • Non-coating solutions to complement existing coatings to provide a complete system
  • Coatings to provide additional functionality (e.g. methods to create BOTH a hard and oil-repellent surface simltaneously)
  • Coatings or methods to give plastic materials the same optical, mechanical, and aesthetic properties as glass (to allow the use of lower cost materials that have inherently different properties to provide functions above)


Solutions able to utilise pulsed plasma deposition / PVD / CVD are of high interest, as are those that can provide additional properties (e.g. Electro Static Discharge protection). The client is open to discuss all forms of collaboration, including licensing and acquisition. Potential solutions should have completed proof of concept and ideally be tested for an electronic device application.

Preferred Business Model

  • R&D Collaboration
  • Licensing
  • IP Acquisition
  • Business Collaboration (Joint Venture, Distribution)

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