MIT researchers have developed a super clear, self-cleaning glass that is resistant to fog and glare. The new glass could be used in future smartphones, tablets, cars, and buildings, eliminating unwanted reflections and staying smudge-free. Water droplets that fall onto this new glass surface are said to bounce off like “tiny rubber balls.”
The surface of this glass is comprised of nanoscale cones, about 1,000 times to 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. The nano-structure is etched into the glass that then goes through a vapor deposition process. It creates air pockets on the surface that minimize the amount of contact between the glass and the water droplets.
The droplets then roll off or bounce off without adhering to the surface. The difference can be seen in the image above, which shows a blue-dyed water droplet sitting on this nano-structured glass (left) versus the droplet on a regular piece of flat glass (right). A Phantom high-speed camera was used to record water dropping onto this new glass surface, showing the droplets form almost perfect beads in the video below.