Biomimicry teaches glass how to become smart

Biomimicry teaches glass how to become smart


Tomorrow’s windows come from London: self-cleaning, anti-reflection and with high energy savings. All this combining high technology and tricks of nature

A group of researchers of London “University College” got the positive result by mixing nanotechnology and thermochromic coatings, in which the optical characteristics vary according to the exposure to ultraviolet rays. “This is the first time – said Ioannis Papakonstantinou, one of the authors of the work – that a nanostructure was combined with a thermochromic coating”.
The surface of the glass recreates a “lotus effect” which allows the leaves of the plant to be almost hydrophobic: through the incision, scientists have reproduced nanocons on the surface so that, when the rain hits the window, the water easily rolls on the surface carrying away dirt, dust and other contaminants. The nanostructure design also gives windows the same anti-reflective properties of the eyes of moths.

Lastly, the glass is coated with a very thin layer, between 5 and 10 nanometers, of vanadium dioxide that in cold periods prevents heat loss, and in warm ones reduces the internal temperature of up to 50%.