Glass Surfaces can be Tough on Microbes: Antimicrobial Glass | Science of Glass | The Glass Age | Corning

Glass Surfaces can be Tough on Microbes

Glass Surfaces can be Tough on Microbes

Everyone loves the convenience and brilliant moving imagery of touchscreens – and they’re becoming more and more popular in public locations, from automatic teller machines to elevator directories and interactive restaurant menus.

There’s one downside to all this interactivity: Stain- and odor- causing bacteria can build up on our devices.

Glass scientists are addressing the issue by creating thin touchscreen covers with ionic silver embedded in the glass composition. Trace amounts of silver ions leach to the surface, eliminating up to 99.9% of a broad range of stain- and odor-causing bacteria. And because the silver is part of the glass itself – not just applied as a coating – the antimicrobial properties will last as long as the device itself.

Ionic silver as a natural antimicrobial agent isn’t new. In fact, its properties have been recognized for centuries. But only in recent years has glass innovation developed to the point where ionic silver can be included in a thin cover glass formula. That’s because any change in composition can affect the toughness and optical clarity required for pristine cover glass.

Today – with the research, testing, and manufacturing improvements gleaned from deep experience with glass – antimicrobial cover glass meets the stringent demands for both microbe elimination and touchscreen performance.

Since its market introduction in 2014, the glass has caught on with a wide variety of industries where touchscreens are part of everyday operations. Banking, hospitality, healthcare, and other sectors are now designing and producing devices with antimicrobial glass.

With touchscreens growing in popularity every day, the role of antimicrobial glass is likely to grow right along with them.



Antimicrobial Corning® Gorilla® Glass is formulated with antimicrobial properties to protect touch surfaces from stain and odor-causing bacteria. Antimicrobial protection is limited to the surface. Corning makes no direct or implied claims to protecting users or providing other health benefits.