The glass reduces both glare and reflection, which continue to plague even the best mobile displays today.
Users have to dish out extra cash for a filter or film - some of questionable effectiveness - to lay on top of their glass screens so they can use the devices in bright light.
One of the most promising developments involves layering anti-reflective nano-structures on top of an anti-glare surface.
But the existing technique doesn't work well with glass, the material of choice for many electronic displays, so Valerio Pruneri's team at ICFO (The Institute of Photonic Sciences) in Spain collaboration with Prantik Mazumder's team at Corning Incorporated set out to find a new method.
On a very fine scale, they roughened a glass surface so it could scatter light and ward off glare but without hurting the glass's transparency.
Then the researchers etched nano-size teeth into the surface to make it anti-reflective. In addition to achieving both of these visual traits, the researchers showed the textured surface repelled water, mimicking a lotus leaf.
Although the anti-glare roughening protects the nano-size glass teeth, further research is needed to ensure that the surface can withstand heavy touchscreen use.
Researchers said the method is inexpensive and can easily be scaled up for industry use.
The study is published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.