The MIT fog-resistant, self-cleaning and anti-glare glass technology literally has the capability to change the way we look at optics, displays and more. That’s because researchers at the university have created a type of glass which may almost be invisible to the eyes owing to the absence of glare. Also, the surface is fabricated in such a way that water droplets simply bounce off it.
The multi-functional MIT glass rests on surface nanotextures which generate a collection of conical features. The cones are five times taller than their base that is measured at a width of 200 nanometers. Even though the entire architecture may appear rather fragile when viewed through the right side of a microscope, MIT researchers say the material should be able to withstand a strong downpour, poking with a finger or even pollen and grit blown by the wind.
Andrew Parker, a senior visiting research fellow at Oxford University’s Green Templeton College in the U.K., cited, “Multifunctional surfaces in animals and plants are common. For the first time, as far as I am aware, this paper learns a lesson in manufacturing efficiency from nature by making an optimized anti-reflective and anti-fogging device. This is the way that nature works, and may well be the future of a greener engineering where two structures, and two manufacturing processes, are replaced by one.”
Additional tests will be required to check how well the nanotextured surfaces can survive in practical applications. If the technology turns out to be viable, especially in terms of reduced manufacturing costs, pushing the glass through production lines shouldn’t be too much trouble. Companies may find it useful for a host of things such as smartphone screens, solar panels, TV sets, windshields, optical devices, building windows and more.
The nitty-gritty on the MIT anti-fogging, glare-free and self-cleaning glass technology are explained thoroughly in a paper that can be found in the ACS Nano journal.