Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Let the light shine through: and no more spitting in your dive mask.

20.09.2004


Fogged up glasses, windscreens and bathroom mirrors may be a thing of the past.

Researchers have invented a new, permanent, multi-purpose coating technology that will prevent your spectacles, car windscreen or bathroom mirror fogging up ever again. The coating, called XeroCoat, also cuts out unwanted reflections from glass, letting more light through. Making it ideal for spectacles and improving the performance of solar cells and glasshouses.


University of Queensland physicists Michael Harvey and Paul Meredith developed this technology based upon thin films of nano-porous silica; this means that “the coating is a layer of glass full of tiny invisible bubbles, just like the foam on beer,” said Mr Harvey. “Because it’s made of glass it’s as hard as glass,” he said, giving the added benefit of a hard coating on items to prevent or reduce scratching. The whole production process is extremely simple, very low-cost and environmentally friendly. Queensland’s Sustainable Energy Innovation Fund, administered by the Environmental Protection Agency, recently awarded the team a grant to further develop the new coating.

Their support will allow trials of this technology to improve the efficiency of solar cells, with the first improved prototypes expected by January 2005. This research also won Michael Harvey a place amongst 15 other early-career scientists who have presented their work to the public and media as part of Fresh Science 2004. The winner will receive a study tour to the UK courtesy of the British Council.

Dr Meredith said existing technologies for applying anti-reflection coatings were all too expensive for the wide areas required for solar collector surfaces. “This innovation is set to revolutionise the use of solar energy by making it cheaper and more effective,” he said. Mr Harvey said that the new coating can be applied to many surfaces, including glass and plastics, and so permanently prevent these items fogging up. Current research is developing this anti-fogging, anti-reflection and scratch resistant coating for products such as spectacles, sunglasses, windscreens and bathroom mirrors.

The University of Queensland’s commercialisation arm, UniQuest, has formed a company, XeroCoat Pty Ltd, to develop and market this technology, offering a better coating solution than those currently available. As the technology develops, Mr Harvey expects that many more applications will emerge, including: enhancing food production by improving the function of greenhouses; scratch-proofing plastics; and improving the performance of high-rise building windows.

“One day soon we will see XeroCoat on products ranging from spectacles, swim and ski goggles to car windscreens and even bathroom mirrors. We are taking nanotechnology out of the lab and putting it in the bathroom,” Mr Harvey said.

Niall Byrne | alfa
Further information:
http://www.freshscience.org

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Backpack Physics: Smaller Hikers Carry Heavier Loads
22.10.2014 | American Institute of Physics (AIP)

nachricht Increasing cosmic radiation may boost danger for manned missions to Mars
22.10.2014 | American Geophysical Union

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Battery Conference April 2015 in Aachen

16.10.2014 | Event News

Experts discuss new developments in the field of stem cell research and cell therapy

10.10.2014 | Event News

Zoonoses: Global collaboration is more important than ever

07.10.2014 | Event News

 
Latest News

Special UO microscope captures defects in nanotubes

22.10.2014 | Life Sciences

NC State Researchers Advance Genome Editing Technique

22.10.2014 | Life Sciences

Findings Point to an “Off Switch” for Drug Resistance in Cancer

22.10.2014 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>