MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, USA: A new multifunctional glass was developed by researchers of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. According to the researchers the new “multifunctional” glass, based on surface nano textures that produce an array of conical features, is self-cleaning and resists fogging and glare. This invention causes the production of glass that is nearly unrecognizable because of its absence of glare. The surface peculiarity results water droplets to bounce right off just like rubber balls.
This technology is useful in solar panel projects. Photovoltaic panels can lose as much as 40 percent of their efficiency within six months as dust and dirt accumulate on their surfaces. A solar panel protected by the new self-cleaning glass will be a real answer to the problem. The antireflection quality of this glass allows more light to penetrate through it. This technology will overcome the deficiencies of earlier hydrophobic coated glasses of solar paneling in two ways – by repelling water the glass will be clean longer and preventing reflective losses.
The antireflective and anti-fogging capabilities could be helpful in optical devices such as microscopes and cameras to be used in humid environments. In touch-screen devices eliminate reflections and resist infectivity by sweat. If the cost of such glass can be lowered sufficiently, even car windows could benefit as cleaning themselves of dirt and grit on the exterior surface of the windows, eliminating glare and reflections that can impair visibility, and preventing fogging on the interior surface.
The surface pattern consists of an array of nanoscale cones that are five times as tall as their base width of 200 nanometers. It is based on a new fabrication approach the MIT team developed using coating and etching techniques adapted from the semiconductor industry. The researchers say they drew their inspiration from nature, where textured surfaces ranging from lotus leaves to desert-beetle carapaces and moth eyes have developed in ways that often fulfill multiple purposes at once.
|Invention||Anti-Fogging, Self-Cleaning and Free of Glare Glass|
|Organization||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|Researcher||Kyoo-Chul Park, Hyungryul Choi, Chih-Hao Chang, Robert Cohen, Gareth McKinley and George Barbastathis|
|Field(s)||Nano technology, Photovoltaic panels|
|Further Information||MIT news|