Chemists at the University of California – Irvine (UC Irvine) have developed light-absorbing, water-repellent coatings modeled on the pattern of moth eyeballs that could reduce sun glare from solar arrays.
‘We found that a very simple process and a tiny bit of gold can turn a transparent film black,’ says Robert Corn, a UC Irvine chemistry professor and leader of the research team that developed the coatings.
As reported in the journal Nano Letters, the UC Irvine team copied a pattern of nano-cones on Teflon films and coated them using a gold vapor deposition process. The researchers say this fabrication method can be used to create flexible thin films over large surface areas that could be incorporated into new applications that require wide-angle and broadband anti-reflective coatings, such as solar panels.
Sun glare is a key issue in the siting of solar arrays, particularly near airports. UC Irvine has filed a patent application for the work.