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German researchers create smudge repellent coating from candle soot

James Trew, @itstrew
December 4, 2011
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While they're working on the lack of feedback, and need for exposed skin problems for touch screens, that other gripe -- dirty smudges -- could soon be wiped-out permanently. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz obviously had enough of sleeve-cleaning their devices and created a coating that could usher in a smudge-free world. The discovery comes after the team applied candle soot to glass and then coated it in silica to keep it in place. The glass is then heated to a bratwurst-baking 600 ºC for calcination, which makes the soot transparent -- somewhat handy for screens. To test, different oils and solvents were applied, but the glass' superamphiphobic properties soon fended them off. A resilient coating sounds a little more straight-forward than what Apple recently applied to patent, but until either of these see the light of day, you'd better keep that Brasso close by.

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