Is fog or reflection obscuring the view through glass? Is your television screen or smart phone screen appearing smudged? There is a way out, suggest MIT researchers.
A new "multifunctional" glass that resists fogging and glare, while at the same time repelling water from the surface, has been developed by the MIT team using tapered conical nanotextures. The pointed nanocones on the surface are five times as tall as their base width of 200 nanometers.
This anti-fogging and self-cleaning glass, which is free of glare, could be applied to optical devices, the screens of smartphones and televisions, solar panels, car windshields and even windows in buildings, according to MIT News.
In solar panels, this new glass has an immense advantage because of its ability to repel water and keep the panels clean longer, in addition to increasing the efficiency. The conventional glass in solar panels can lose as much as 40 percent of their efficiency within six months due to accumulation of dust and dirt on their surfaces. But that's not the case with the new multifunctional surfaces, say the MIT researchers who hope the new glass can be made using an inexpensive manufacturing process.
In optical devices such as microscopes and cameras to be used in humid environments, the new glass proves useful because of its antireflective and anti-fogging capabilities. In touch-screen devices, the glass would not only eliminate reflections, but would also resist contamination by sweat.
The research was funded by the Army Research Office and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, as well as Singapore's National Research Foundation and the Xerox Foundation.
by RTT Staff Writer
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