Lotus leaf inspires fog-free finish for transparent surfaces

Jul 30, 2012

Chinese scientists use silica nanoparticles resembling raspberries to create a water-repellent, fog-free, self-cleaning finish for glass and other transparent surfaces.

Inspired 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 . "Superhydrophobic" surfaces, such as the , 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 were able to apply a clear, slick, water-repellent surface to glass.

This is significant in material fields because it means that after modifying low-surface- and creating on them, surfaces can be made to exhibit completely different wetting characteristics – either repelling or attracting moisture. As 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 percent of their efficiency to dust and dirt buildup within a year of installation. The next challenge the scientists face is figuring out how to move the smart surfaces from the lab to industry in a cost-efficient manner.

Explore further: Competition for graphene: Researchers demonstrate ultrafast charge transfer in new family of 2-D semiconductors

More information: "Transparent superhydrophobic/superhydrophilic coatings for self-cleaning and anti-fogging," is published in Applied Physics Letters. apl.aip.org/resource/1/applab/v101/i3/p033701_s1

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nanocoating could eliminate foggy windows and lenses

Aug 29, 2005

Foggy windows and lenses are a nuisance, and in the case of automobile windows, can pose a driving hazard. Now, a group of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) may have found a permanent solution ...

Researchers reveal Eucalypt’s nano properties

Oct 31, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Murdoch University nano scientists have discovered that a eucalyptus plant native to south west WA has unique self-cleaning and water-repellent properties which could make it a gold mine for ...

Bio-inspired coating resists liquids

Sep 21, 2011

After a rain, the cupped leaf of a pitcher plant becomes a virtually frictionless surface. Sweet-smelling and elegant, the carnivore attracts ants, spiders, and even little frogs. One by one, they slide to ...

Recommended for you

Graphene reinvents the future

6 hours ago

For many scientists, the discovery of one-atom-thick sheets of graphene is hugely significant, something with the potential to affect just about every aspect of human activity and endeavour.

Catalytic gold nanoclusters promise rich chemical yields

Aug 25, 2014

(Phys.org) —Old thinking was that gold, while good for jewelry, was not of much use for chemists because it is relatively nonreactive. That changed a decade ago when scientists hit a rich vein of discoveries ...

Copper shines as flexible conductor

Aug 22, 2014

Bend them, stretch them, twist them, fold them: modern materials that are light, flexible and highly conductive have extraordinary technological potential, whether as artificial skin or electronic paper.

User comments : 0