A touch of gold makes glass more see through

Sep 27, 2011
A touch of gold makes glass more see through
The research has the potential to change the way we watch TV

(PhysOrg.com) -- Physicists at the King's College London have discovered a means of making glass more transparent - by coating it in a thin layer of gold.

Researchers have found that by covering with a film of gold more light can be transmitted through more angles, reducing the amount that is reflected back. This could change the way we watch flat-screen TVs or view light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in watches and alarm clocks, which currently must be seen head-on for a clear perspective.
 
In these examples the light is generated from within a layer of active material inside glass. This light is then trapped within the emitting layer, which means it cannot be viewed at other angles other than almost face on.
 
Instead we see a reflection rather than seeing through the glass to the image behind it. This is due to light being completely reflected back at larger angles from the glass rather than passing through it.
 
The research, published in Applied Physics Letters, shows that by applying a very of gold over the glass and controlling the thickness of the thinnest part of the , the interaction of the light and electrons can be engineered on the nanoscale to increase the transmission of light through the glass. This results in light passing through the glass even when not viewed straight on, and at a greater intensity.
 
Ryan McCarron, a PhD student from the Department of Physics who is leading the project, said: ‘This research could greatly increase output in , allowing new heights of efficiency to be reached.
 
‘It may also allow nanoscale sources for many other applications, such as bio and chemical sensing and integrated photonics.’

Explore further: Uncovering the forbidden side of molecules

More information: The full paper can be viewed at apl.aip.org/resource/1/applab/v99/i8/p081106_s1

Related Stories

Lasers build three-dimensional circuits

May 06, 2004

Making a three-dimensional circuit is no easy task. At the moment, chip designers build them layer by layer but this is a tedious process and it limits the designs that can be used. Now Jianrong Qiu, a physicist at the S ...

MU engineers develop safer, blast-resistant glass (w/ Video)

Sep 10, 2009

To protect from potential terrorist attacks, federal buildings and other critical infrastructures are made with special windows that contain blast-resistant glass. However, the glass is thick and expensive. Currently, University ...

Nanowires offer opportunities for improved LEDs

Jul 01, 2011

Researchers from Dutch FOM Institute AMOLF, together with colleagues from Philips Research, Eindhoven University of Technology and Delft University of Technology, have made special nanostructures that could ...

Gold nanoparticles that make leaves glow in the dark

Oct 25, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers in Taiwan think they may eventually be able to replace street lamps with trees laced with gold nanoparticles that turn their leaves into bio-light-emitting diodes.

Recommended for you

Uncovering the forbidden side of molecules

Sep 21, 2014

Researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland have succeeded in observing the "forbidden" infrared spectrum of a charged molecule for the first time. These extremely weak spectra offer perspectives ...

How Paramecium protozoa claw their way to the top

Sep 19, 2014

The ability to swim upwards – towards the sun and food supplies – is vital for many aquatic microorganisms. Exactly how they are able to differentiate between above and below in often murky waters is ...

User comments : 16

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

CHollman82
4.5 / 5 (2) Sep 27, 2011
This is cool because it seems so counterintuitive
krwhite
5 / 5 (5) Sep 27, 2011
I'd like to know the amount of gold needed, but it's in content you have to purchase. I really wish institutions wouldn't charge money to read papers. I'm curious, but I'm not $28 curious.
Nanobanano
1.7 / 5 (3) Sep 27, 2011
It seems unlikely that an increase in efficiency would pay for the increased cost from Gold for a decent sized screen.

Gold is very, very expensive right now, with it's price having increased about 2.5 times the rate of inflation over the past 15 years, and even 25% faster than the price of gasoline vs 15 years ago!!

If it was used in something as common as the screens of consumer electronics, how much do you think the price would increase?

Maybe they're talking about 1 atom thick layer, but even that adds up fast when you're talking about millions of televisions, monitors, and LCDs for hand held devices...
CHollman82
5 / 5 (6) Sep 27, 2011
A one atom thick layer of gold on a typical television screen would add pennies to the cost... I don't think you know how many atoms are in an ounce of gold...

It's probably a bit more than an atom thick layer, but it is still a "thin film", so thin it is transparent, so I doubt the cost would be that high... a few cents or even a few dollars on top of a $1000 television or an $800 ipad is nothing if it improves image quality.
jakack
5 / 5 (3) Sep 27, 2011
Any benefits using this tech with photo voltaic cells? I'm guessing negligible benefits, but perhaps somebody else knows better.
Tesla2
5 / 5 (4) Sep 27, 2011
Many connectors and PCBs are already plated with gold. The layer is very thin. PCBs for example, have platings of 3 to 6 m.
http://www.lg-adv...rins.pdf
The cost of the gold is an insignificant increase in cost. The addition of an extra step in the process will add more cost than the gold. The increase in efficiency is likely to pay for this increased cost. Plus, you get an increased viewing angle, which is the point of the technology.
that_guy
5 / 5 (2) Sep 27, 2011
@krwhite - There's another article about how expensive academic journals are. LOL - seemed to fit your comment :).

@Nano - Gold has fallen 10% in the last week. The bubble has burst (It's still going down). That said, the amount should be small enough (ideally) that the price of gold won't be the lion's share of the cost.

@Chollman - I agree. It is probably more than a few dollars. And with this process you will have significant waste, as well as the process itself costing money (Think how much those special coatings on binoculars/lenses cost). All that said, it is still probably only a fraction of the price of the device. Basically, what tesla said.

@jakack - excellent question. Solar panels have anti-reflective coatings. However, if this process makes a significant difference in LCD TVs, it would probably make the same difference in solar. However, since the coating would have to be on the other side (Exposed to the elements), I wonder how durable it would be.
Callippo
5 / 5 (1) Sep 27, 2011
Original article is here http://www.active...1106.pdf

It's subject is similar to this research

http://www.aip.or.../113.htm
http://optics.org...le/40977
astro_optics
1 / 5 (1) Sep 27, 2011
they are barking up the wrong tree!
kaasinees
1 / 5 (3) Sep 28, 2011
gold plating adds nothing of value to connectors... let alone TV screens... the effects would probably be negligible. Good for people who can afford money on useless toys.
that_guy
5 / 5 (4) Sep 29, 2011
gold plating adds nothing of value to connectors... let alone TV screens... the effects would probably be negligible. Good for people who can afford money on useless toys.

Your remark seems a bit short sighted. This has nothing to do with gold plated RCA, Component, or speaker wire, etc.

Gold doesn't corrode. When you have extremely small connections in electronics, or connections that will be exposed to the elements, coating it with a miniscule amount of gold makes a huge difference. Sometimes, you have components so small that even a few tens of microns of corrosion mean the difference between working perfectly, or not at all. Your computer works reliably for this. very. reason.

What? You didn't know that there is a small amount of gold in virtually every consumer computing device?
kaasinees
1 / 5 (4) Sep 29, 2011
gold plating adds nothing of value to connectors... let alone TV screens... the effects would probably be negligible. Good for people who can afford money on useless toys.

Your remark seems a bit short sighted. This has nothing to do with gold plated RCA, Component, or speaker wire, etc.

Gold doesn't corrode. When you have extremely small connections in electronics, or connections that will be exposed to the elements, coating it with a miniscule amount of gold makes a huge difference. Sometimes, you have components so small that even a few tens of microns of corrosion mean the difference between working perfectly, or not at all. Your computer works reliably for this. very. reason.

What? You didn't know that there is a small amount of gold in virtually every consumer computing device?

Gold plating is mostly a scam, so they can sell expensive cables. Also making false assumptions is for morons.
Callippo
1 / 5 (1) Sep 30, 2011
This is cool because it seems so counterintuitive
The wings of Morpho moths don't contain any metal, although they're quite reflective. We should realize, this effect is based on interference of light and a such it can be easily reversed. Many black wings of moths and birds could be actually caused not with black pigments, but with photonic "superabsorbers".
CHollman82
5 / 5 (4) Sep 30, 2011
Gold plating is mostly a scam, so they can sell expensive cables. Also making false assumptions is for morons.


He is not talking about what you are talking about... he tried to explain that to you.

The computer you're using has gold plated contacts in it. AMD and Intel are not "sucker" consumers who are fooled by flashy marketing, they include gold in their processors for good reason.
that_guy
5 / 5 (2) Sep 30, 2011
Gold plating is mostly a scam, so they can sell expensive cables. Also making false assumptions is for morons.


gold plated cables are basically a straight up scam, yes, without a doubt - but you are getting ones because you refuse to understand that we are talking about something completely different - gold in microelectronics - or the point of this article, which is about using the gold coating - not plating - for its optical properties.
TheQuietMan
5 / 5 (2) Oct 02, 2011
You would be hard put to find any card edge connectors that aren't gold plated nowdays. It wasn't always the case, the gold plating fall under the lessons learned category.