In the short video above you'll see water bouncing off the surface of glass without leaving a trace behind. And this new advanced glass could be the future of everything from eyeglasses to camera lenses to solar panels.
Researchers at MIT applied a new geometric texture to glass to make the surface self-cleaning, and resistant to glare and fog. Even if fog-free camera lenses sounds totally incredible, MIT News explains, this glass could have huge implications for energy generation. According to researcher Kyoo-Chul Park:
Photovoltaic panels, Park explains, can lose as much as 40 percent of their efficiency within six months as dust and dirt accumulate on their surfaces. But a solar panel protected by the new self-cleaning glass, he says, would have much less of a problem. In addition, the panel would be more efficient because more light would be transmitted through its surface, instead of being reflected away - especially when the sun's rays are inclined at a sharp angle to the panel.
All of that increased efficiency could make solar power a much more appealing option—if the researchers can figure out a way to make the new glass cheap enough to be viable. MIT News points out that they've got a pretty good chance of success. You see, it's not the material of the glass itself that resists glare, but instead the texture. This time around, the researchers actually etched the pattern onto the glass, but they think they can also simply apply the texture to a clear film which could be used as a coating. Godspeed! I'm tired of fogged up my Ray-Bans every time I walk outside. [MIT News via Geekosystem]