Small changes, big results: Etching glass at the nanoscale level makes it non-reflective and water-repellent

Nanoscale etching alters the behaviour of glass surfaces
Charles Black, Brookhaven National Laboratories
March 19, 2018
By Charles Black, Brookhaven National Laboratories
Dr. Charles (Chuck) Black of Brookhaven National Laboratory in the United States will present his team’s research using nanomaterials to render glass and some plastics virtually invisible by eliminating nearly all surface reflections.
The nanotechnology-based approach uses self-assembly of block copolymers to design surface textures that endow materials with improved properties, such as full-colour antireflection across the visible and near-infrared wavelengths. Similarly designed surface nanotextures further impart water and fog-repellency to the glass, making it able to resist water droplet impacts even in excess of 10 metres per second. In this presentation, Dr. Black will discuss the physics behind light reflection and water repellency, as well as the process his team uses to create these surface textures. Attendees will get a look at technology that may change the future approach to glass treatment with implications for common problems with glare, coating durability, solar heat reflection, building energy efficiency and esthetics.

About the speaker
Dr. Black is a senior scientist and director of the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), a national scientific user facility operated at Brookhaven National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy. Each year, the CFN supports the science of more than 550 researchers from universities, industry and national laboratories worldwide. The CFN mission is advancing nanoscience to impact society by being an essential resource for the worldwide scientific community and by carrying out transformative basic nanomaterials research. Dr. Black earned a Ph.D. degree in Physics from Harvard University in 1996, and B.S. degrees in Physics and Mathematics from Vanderbilt University in 1991. Dr. Black is a member of the board of directors of the Materials Research Society, a fellow of the American Physical Society, and a senior member of the IEEE. •

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