PITTSBURGH (July 11, 2019) -- Glass for technologies like displays, tablets, laptops, smartphones, and solar cells need to pass light through, but could benefit from a surface that repels water, dirt, oil, and other liquids.Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering have created a nanostructure glass that takes inspiration from the wings of the glasswing butterfly to create a new type of glass that is not only very clear across a wide variety of wavelengths and angles, but is also antifogging.The team recently published a paper detailing their findings: "Creating Glasswing-Butterfly Inspired Durable Antifogging Omniphobic Supertransmissive, Superclear Nanostructured Glass Through Bayesian Learning and Optimization" in Materials Horizons (doi:10.1039/C9MH00589G).They recently presented this work at the ICML conference in the "Climate Change: How Can AI Help?"The nanostructured glass has random nanostructures, like the glasswing butterfly wing, that are smaller than the wavelengths of visible light.The glass also has low haze, less than 0.1%, which results in very clear images and text.
Inspired by tiny nanostructures on transparent butterfly wings, engineers at Caltech have developed a synthetic analogue for eye implants that makes them more effective and longer-lasting.The size of these pillars--50 to 100 times smaller than the width of a human hair--gives them unusual optical properties.The pillars redirect the light that strikes the wings so that the rays pass through regardless of the original angle at which they hit the wings.Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide.Though the exact mechanism by which the disease damages eyesight is still under study, the leading theory suggests that sudden spikes in the pressure inside the eye damages the optic nerve.Medication can reduce the increased eye pressure and prevent damage, but ideally it must be taken at the first signs of a spike in eye pressure.