If you wear glasses, and they have been created recently, you are reading this article by looking through a tiny, transparent layer of nanomaterial. Anti-reflective coatings based on nanomaterials that reduce the amount of reflected light are used in most optical devices, including glasses, photo lenses, TV screens, solar cells and LED lights.
They could get better in the future. Some of the most efficient ARCs are made by mother nature and are found in the eyes of insects, like moths. The eyes of moths are covered with a layer of tiny bumps which are smaller than the wavelength of incoming light. This natural coating eliminates glare, hiding the moths from predators and improving their nocturnal vision. Some types of ARCs actually mimic the moth's eye.
These coatings are effective, but currently they are relatively expensive and difficult to customize. A group at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, coordinated by Joachim P. Spatz, has developed a new way to produce moth eye-like coatings and they say the resulting coatings are comparable in cost to classic ARCs and can be easily customized.
The eyes of nocturnal insects give researchers new ideas for anti-glare coatings. Credit: Max Planck Institute
The manufacturing process developed at the Max Planck Institute, which uses gold nanoparticles, produces regular, tiny bumps similar to that found in the moths' eyes. Structural parameters such as period, height and shape of these structures can be easily controlled, say the German group. Researchers have formed a spin-off team to exploit and commercialize their solution.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Suggestion: The EM Drive Is Getting The Appropriate Level Of Attention From The Science Community
- Animal Sex Is Spicier Than We Thought
- Junk Science Report Card
- Will Aspartame Critics Now Be Less Bitter?
- Review Claims Link Between Wireless Devices And Cancer
- Stardust For Sale
- Wind Energy Subsidies Boost It To 8 Percent Of Europe's Electricity
- "So how much poison did you ingest sitting at your PC copying and pasting all of that stuff? You..."
- "Wow, you just waste my 20 minutes with your conditioned mind full of shitty concepts..Well played..."
- "Herman J. Muller, 1927 paper, radiation causes genetic mutations, these mistakes will cause extinction..."
- "Hi, I think you can only use the RCF bound to derive the variance when you are dealing with Gaussian..."
- "Even with subsidies Germany has some of the highest electricity rates in Europe. So when you add..."
- Excessive or inadequate? Confusion about medication is common
- Breast cancer in young women is rarer than media make it seem
- GE crops could save the planet, if Organic advocates let them
- No excuses to be against science now: Monsanto patent expires
- The Pendulum Swings: Prescribing Hormone Replacement Therapy 13 Years After the Women’s Health Initiative Study
- The search for new blood donors ends at the living – but why?