An article [arxiv.org] published this month describes A new transparent metasurface that uses sunlight to counteract fogging [technologyreview.com] of surfaces.
Fogging glass affects a variety of things such as glasses, cars, spacesuits and the mirror in the bathroom. Fogging can be inconvenient, dangerous or even deadly depending on the circumstances.
That’s why cars and space suits have their own air-conditioning systems to remove or prevent fogging.
But air-conditioning is expensive, bulky, and environmentally unfriendly. So engineers and materials scientists are keen to find a way to prevent fogging more effectively.
To that end, researchers from Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule University in Zürich (ETH), engineered the new material layering gold nanoparticles between Titanium Dioxide on top of a glass substrate. The nanoparticles absorb sunlight raising the glass' surface temperature up to 10 °C. This causes water to either not condense or to evaporate much more quickly from the surface.
The surface is robust and relatively easy to make and when compared with conventional superhydrophilic and superhydrophobic antifogging surfaces
The researchers say their new metasurface significantly reduces the rate of condensation and increases the rate of evaporation compared with other materials.
The researchers mention performance gains for various applications such as "windows, windshields, electronic displays, cameras, mirrors, and eyewear."