You might remember one of those dreaded days when you had to drive in a dense fog or rain at the night time along a mountainous terrain and the glare of the headlights just adds to the difficulty of the task. You wished you had some kind of magical glasses that would take care of themselves. Researchers from MIT have taken inspiration from nature and have come up with a multifunctional glass made of nano-textures that prevent fog and glare.
The surface of the glass comprises of nano-scale cones and the technology to develop the glass takes its inspiration from the semiconductor industry. Just like the silicon wafers the glass is coated with different layers with each layer serving a different functionality. The researchers said to have been inspired by the nature and studied how water glides along the lotus petals and how a moth's eye is able to remain clairvoyant even in the most difficult weather conditions.
The researchers have already filed for a patent and the technology seems to benefit a wide range of industries. It could help solve the glare problems in your smartphones, tablets, PC, laptops and televisions. It could be used to build the windshields of the future. It could improve the usability of microscopes and cameras in humid conditions. Most importantly it could make solar panels 40 percent more efficient by improving their self-cleaning abilities and locking in 50 percent of more sunlight by preventing it from reflecting straight away.