One Material, Many Layers | Science of Glass | The Glass Age | Corning

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Layers of glass sheets etched, ready for use in electronics

Science of Glass

Science of Glass

One Material, Many Layers

One Material, Many Layers

The role of glass within your device

Did you know that today’s devices have different layers of glass?

It’s true. In fact, each layer has a distinct glass composition that enables it to perform a specific role within smartphones, tablets, televisions, or other devices. Check out why each layer of glass matters for the overall functionality of your device.

Cover Glass

This type of glass is most commonly found on smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and other handheld devices and  helps protect the device’s screen. The first display layer is the one you see and touch on a daily basis, so it needs to have a smooth surface for a pleasant touch response; exceptional optical clarity for a great look; and long-lasting toughness to help protect the device from everyday wear and tear.

Touch Sensor

Glass used for this layer does just what it says – it senses the user’s touch and relays that information to the processor inside.

Frontplane/Color Filter

The frontplane or color filter sits behind the cover glass in standard liquid-crystal displays (LCDs) or behind the touch sensor in touch-enabled LCDs. You look through the cover glass and touch sensor layers to see the vivid images created by a color filter in this glass layer.

Encapsulation Layer

This piece of glass encapsulates the organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) and sensitive electronics deep inside OLED devices. An airtight (hermetic) seal keeps moisture and oxygen from damaging the interior components.


The final layer is the innermost piece of glass in a device. As the powerhouse for both LCDs and OLEDs, it houses millions of semiconductor transistors that set the rules for light to pass or not pass through each pixel. The organic material, which generates the colored lights of an image, is located here in OLED devices.

Learn More:

  • Watch how each glass layer can improve your favorite device in this video.