Alfred University News

Alfred University professor LaCourse comments in CNN Business story about foldable smartphones

William LaCourse
William LaCourse

William LaCourse, professor of glass science at Alfred University, was quoted extensively in a story on CNN this week about the difficulties developing foldable screens for smartphones.


ALFRED, NY – William LaCourse, professor of glass science at Alfred University, was quoted extensively in a story on CNN this week about the difficulties developing foldable screens for smartphones.

The story, published Wednesday, July 26, on the CNN Business website, is titled “Why it’s so hard to make a foldable smartphone.” LaCourse comments about the challenges of developing technology that would allow for the creation of a foldable smartphone screen.

Plastic polymers, LaCourse notes, are flexible enough to bend, but lack the durability of glass. While the protective screen covers on many phones are made from plastic, the screens themselves are commonly made from glass. The challenge in creating a foldable screen is developing a glass that is thick enough to be strong and durable, but thin enough to have the flexibility needed to bend.

“The combination of ultra-thin glass, less than the thickness of human hair, and very high strength allows glass to be bent, twisted, etc. without fracture,” LaCourse told CNN Business. “It will not fold flat like a dollar bill, but you could fold it around a metal rod and you could do it over and over and it will still go back to flat [without] creases.”