Butterfly Wings May Help Reduce Reflections In Glass
Apr 23, 2015, 10:19 AM by Eric M. Zeman
Scientists suggest the naturally-occurring coating found on the wings of the glasswing butterfly could eventually lead to practical applications such as glare-free smartphone displays. Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology found that irregular nanostructures on the butterfly's wings cause them to reflect very little light. The key is the irregularity of the pillar-like nanostructures, which vary in height between 600 and 800 nanometers and vary in distances apart between 100 and 140 nanometers. The KIT researchers were able to recreate the phenomenon in mathematical experiments to prove the theory. "In contrast to other natural phenomena, where regularity is of top priority, the glasswing butterfly uses an apparent chaos to reach effects that are also fascinating for us humans," said one of the researchers. Applying such a coating to the glass of mobile phone displays, lenses, or other glass surfaces could dramatically cut down on the amount of glare or reflection. Moreover, prototype experiments show the coating may also be water repellent and self cleaning. A coating that reduces glare, repels water, and cleans itself could be the Holy Grail of advancements in display technology. The KIT researchers say real-world application tests are in the concept phase.
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