Researchers at the MIT have developed hydrophobic and non-reflective glass using nanotechnology.
Where can this come handy? Applications could include optical devices such as microscopes and cameras to be used in humid environments, where both the antireflective and anti-fogging capabilities could be useful. In touch-screen devices, the glass would not only eliminate reflections, but would also resist contamination by sweat. A further application would be car windscreens and solar panels with hydrophobic coatings, the new multifunctional surfaces created by the MIT team are even more effective at repelling water, keeping the panels clean longer, the researchers say.
Think of the more trivial possibilities the water repellent lenses would be awesome for glasses wearers. No more fogging of the lenses when you come in from the cold.
The team has already applied for a patent on the process.
Through a process involving thin layers of material deposited on a surface and then selectively etched away, the MIT team produced a surface covered with tiny cones, each five times taller than their width. This pattern prevents reflections, while at the same time repelling water from the surface.
Image: Hyungryul Choi and Kyoo-Chul Park