Tech

Can phones work underwater?

Today there are two main methods for waterproofing a
smartphone: physical barriers such as port covers and sealed
seams that prevent liquid entering externally, and nanocoatings
that penetrate the device entirely and actively repel water. While both
techniques are used, the most effective is the latter, enabling devices
to be water resistant without compromising on size and aesthetics.
There are different types of nanocoating, but one of the most
commonly used is that made by P2i. This company’s waterproofing
process involves subjecting any electronic gizmo to a plasmaenhanced
vapour in a vacuum chamber at room temperature. The
vapour contains a gaseous polymer, which when brought into contact
with the device’s surfaces – both external and internal – forms a superstrong
covalent bond and waterproof barrier 1,000 times thinner than
a human hair.
Once on the phone, the ultra-thin polymer layer then dramatically
reduces its surface energy, forcing any water that comes into contact
with it to bead up and be repelled. Obviously, in the case of a
smartphone, this action would prevent water from penetrating the
delicate internal components. However, due to the vapour disposition
process, even if water were to penetrate the mobile’s casing, each
internal component would also be coated with the polymer, protecting
them until the water evaporated or was dried off manually