A patent application titled “Oleophobic coating on sapphire” spotted by AppleInsider is new evidence that Apple is planning to integrate sapphire crystal in the displays, perhaps in the iPhone 6 as well.
The document describes the process for applying an oleophobic coating on a thin layer of synthetic sapphire, which is applied to smartphone and tablets displays.
This type of coating should help avoid having fingerprints or stains remain on the surface of the device.
The filing reads: “Various embodiments described herein encompass a component with a substrate having an alumina base layer, a transition layer comprising alumina and silica, and a surface coating that preferentially bonds to the silica. The base layer may comprise a single-crystal sapphire. The transition layer may transition substantially continuously from about 100% alumina at the base layer to include substantial silica content at the surface coating, or to about 100% silica or silica glass at the surface coating.
A surface layer may be formed on the transition layer, with a substantially silica content, for example substantially 100% silica or silica glass, and the surface coating may be oleophobic. A portable electronic device may comprise the coated component, the portable device may include a window, the oleophobic coating may be provided on an exterior surface of the window, and the window may also include a touch screen.”
Several patents have surfaced lately fueling rumors that Apple wants to replace Corning Gorilla Glass with sapphire crystal.