Illuminating the Depths: Researchers Develop a New Glowing Touchscreen for Underwater Use

By: | March 12th, 2024

Image by POSTECH

Researchers at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) are making waves with their groundbreaking work in developing optical display technology that uses afterglow luminescent particles (ALPs) for writing and erasing messages beneath the water’s surface.

Luminescent Discoveries

Led by Professor Sei Kwang Hahn and Ph.D. candidate Seong-Jong Kim from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at POSTECH, the team identified a unique optical phenomenon in ALPs. Subsequently, they designed and implemented a device to harness this phenomenon. The results of their study have been officially published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

The display patch has the ability to convey information through finger pressure, requiring only a small amount for input. When exposed to ultraviolet rays, the patch resets to a blank state, akin to erasing content from a sketchbook with an eraser. Moreover, the display touchscreen demonstrates resistance to humidity and remains functional even when submerged underwater for extended periods.

Transformative Potential

This development holds the potential to revolutionize underwater interactions with technology. Divers, researchers, and underwater tourists could all benefit from this waterproof touchscreen. Picture using an underwater camera with a touchscreen interface to adjust settings or view photos while scuba diving, or researchers using a touchscreen tablet to collect real-time data underwater.

The POSTECH team’s research opens the door to a future where touchscreen technology seamlessly extends beyond our dry world and into the depths of the ocean.


Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

More articles from Industry Tap...