What is a Smartphone Screen Made of?

Whether you have an iPhone, a Samsung, or a Motorola, all smartphones are comprised of three basic components: a liquid crystal display, wires that detect touch, and a protective glass cover. Some models are also starting to utilize emerging technologies such as screens that incorporate touch sensitivity in the display. Keep reading for a more in-depth explanation of what smartphone screens are made of.

What is a Smart Phone Screen Made of?

Protective Glass Cover

Covering and protecting the front of the phone is the glass cover. Believe it or not, the material from which smartphone screens are made is very strong, durable, and increasingly shatter-resistant. When Steve Jobs first created the iPhone, he contracted with the Corning Corporation to come up with a product to protect his world-changing invention. Corning dusted off a type of super-strong glass they’d made in the 1960s that never really caught on commercially. It was a perfect fit for the iPhone, and Gorilla Glass was born. Gorilla Glass has four main properties: hardness, thinness, lightness, and scratch resistance. On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, Gorilla Glass rates a nine. For comparison, diamond—the hardest element in the world—rates a 10 on the Mohs scale. Smartphones were the first product to utilize the strong glass, but now you can also find it in laptops, tablets, wearable technologies such as smart watches, and GPS systems.

Liquid Crystal Display & Touch Screen

All images on a smartphone are displayed on a liquid crystal display, a technology most TVs and computer monitors also use. An electrical current adjusts the color of the individual pixels to create an image. While TVs use a fluorescent backlight to light the image, a phone uses LED backlights to save space and power. On top of the display is a touch screen, which is essentially a grid of wires that generates an electrical field that detects your touch. When you touch a spot on the screen, your finger disrupts the electrical field. The phone can locate the disruption and interpret it as a tap. A capacitive touch screen won’t detect pressure the way a resistive touch screen does, which is why it won’t register the touch of a stylus or fingernail.