Whether it’s eyeglass lenses or car windows, thefogging of the glasses it has always been a considerable nuisance and can also be dangerous, hindering our visibility of the road. But now, researchers at ETH Zurich may have developed a technology to solve the age-old problem.
Those of us who wear glasses will no doubt have dealt with condensation buildup on the lenses. To prevent this from happening, the researchers created an ultra-thin clear coat gold basedable to convert sunlight into heat and prevent the lenses from fogging up.
The coating, which is now patent pending by ETH Zurich, is capable of selectively absorb solar radiation; formed by a layer of gold sandwiched between two layers of titanium dioxide, the entire coating is just 10 nanometers thick. Thanks to the ability to absorb only infrared radiation (by heating the lenses up to 8°C) and not visible light, the glass remains completely transparent.
Although gold is expensive, researchers ensure that the quantities used are so small that keep material costs low (not affecting the possibility that gold on Earth will run out).
The researchers are now working to adapt the coating to other applications: the low cost of production would make it ideal not only for eyewear but also for car windows and the windows of large buildings. Furthermore, the coating would be able to retain heat on the glass panels, preventing the interior from overheating.
Staying on the subject of innovative wearable products, fogging up glasses may not be a problem for those who decide to use smart contact lenses instead.