A Little Nanotech Lifts The Fog

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Eyeglasses, windshields, and other glass items could be fog-free in the future with a special nanotech coating.

“Harry, didn’t you do something to your glasses to stop the rain fogging them up when we played Hufflepuff in that storm?”
“Hermoine did it,” said Harry. He pulled out his wand, tapped his glasses, and said, “Impervius!”

-- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K. Rowling.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
-- Arthur C. Clarke, Profiles of the Future

A scholarship to Hogwarts won’t be required. In fact, creating a fogproof nanotech coating could be accomplished by the person next door.

National Geographic quotes MIT materials scientist Michael Rubner as observing the ease with which it could be created. “It’s a cheap, simple process. I could teach you how to do this, and you could make these products in your garage.”

The scientist announced the process at the American Chemical Society’s Washington DC conference. Their discovery that silica nanoparticles bonded to a surface can make it resist fog could make morning shaving and foul-weather driving a clearer experience.

In another story, PhysOrg.com describes the process as consisting of alternate layers of tiny particles of glass (the silica nanoparticles) and an inexpensively-made polymer called polyallylamine hydrochloride.

The article notes the military, which helped fund the project via DARPA, and a couple of car manufacturers have shown interest in the breakthrough.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

A Little Nanotech Lifts The Fog
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