by the water-repellent properties of the lotus leaf, a group of
scientists in China has discovered a way to impart a fog-free,
self-cleaning finish to glass and other transparent materials.
surfaces, such as the lotus leaf, are excellent at repelling water and
also boast other “smart” self-cleaning, anti-glare, anti-icing, and
anti-corrosion properties. By using hollow silica nanoparticles that
resemble raspberries, scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences were
able to apply a clear, slick, water-repellent surface to glass.
is significant in material fields because it means that after modifying
low-surface-energy materials and creating surface textures on them,
surfaces can be made to exhibit completely different wetting
characteristics—either repelling or attracting moisture.
described by the scientists in the American Institute of Physics (AIP)
journal Applied Physics Letters, these surfaces show good anti-fogging
and light transmittance properties before and after chemical
modification, which should help pave the way to a clearer, fog-free
performance for windshields, windows, solar cells and panels, LEDs, and
even TVs, tablets, and cell phone screens. Smart surface coatings are
highly desirable, especially for solar cells and panels, which
frequently lose up to 40% of their efficiency to dust and dirt buildup
within a year of installation.
next challenge the scientists face is figuring out how to move the
smart surfaces from the lab to industry in a cost-efficient manner.
Transparent superhydrophobic/superhydrophilic coatings for self-cleaning and anti-fogging
Source: American Institute of Physics