This week in ceramic news, researchers in London have developed a new glass that is self-cleaning.
Scientists from University College London (UCL), led by Ioannis Papakonstantinou, Ph.D., have paired engraved nanostructures with a photochromic 5-10 nanometer film of vanadium dioxide. The nanostructures trap air and let only a miniscule amount of water touch the glass, making the water form droplets that roll right off the surface and take any dirt or dust on the glass with them. The nanostructures also reportedly reduce glare coming in through the windows.
The vanadium dioxide coating is transparent at lower temperatures and becomes more reflective as temperature increases. This property will keep heat in during the winter and prevent infrared radiation from coming through. The team is looking for ways to move the glass into production and to develop a smart film with the same properties for application to existing windows.
Other stories from around the web: