Anyone who has worn a face mask during the pandemic’s two years will tell you how frustrating it is when your glasses fog up. However, nanotechnology may soon ensure that your eyesight remains unimpaired.
Researchers at ETH Zurich have made a gold nano-coating that can heat glass up to 46F by absorbing a lot of infrared radiation. This keeps your glasses from fogging up in many humid places.
In contrast to more traditional methods, which merely disperse water using hydrophilic molecules, this one stops condensation.
With a thickness of 10 nm, the coating wraps gold in a titanium oxide sandwich. This makes the heating effect stronger through refraction and protects the gold from wear. This structure won’t get too hot in the summer because radiation can’t travel through it.
ETH is quick to point out that the coating was made using standard manufacturing methods, such as vapor deposition in a clean room with a vacuum. It’s possible that businesses won’t have to make costly changes to their assembly lines.
Before you even ask, it’s not as pricey as you might imagine. The amount of gold used is so minute (roughly 12 times thinner than a typical gold leaf) that it shouldn’t significantly increase the cost of your glasses. But they still want to look into other metals to see if they work better.
Gold-coated glasses might not hit the shelves for a while longer. Even though a patent application has been filed, no businesses have shown interest in licensing the technology. Hopefully, it won’t be restricted to just glasses.
In addition to its potential use in preventing fog on car windshields, the research team thinks the layer could be implemented to keep heat in on mirrors, windows, and other transparent surfaces.