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A new type of nano-structured glass can bounce water and dirt off its surface, cleaning itself and preventing fogging, according to MIT researchers. It eliminates glare, too, allowing light to penetrate with pure clarity. It could be used for anything from solar panels to future car windshields to new gadget screens.

The superhydrophobic glass shares some properties with the super-waterproof fabric coating we learned about this week, and it, too, is a feat of nano-engineering. But instead of a waterproof coating, it earns its special properties through a special etching process. Kyoo-Chul Park, Hyungryul Choi and colleagues drew inspiration from nature, including zebra plants, which contain conical structures that repel water. They developed a method to embed an array of steeply angled cones on the surface of glass.
ZeitNews, a Technology Team Application. News stories about our scientific and technological capabilities to build a better world.
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