BOB HIRSHON (host):
Fighting fog and frost. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
Engineers at MIT, including material scientist Michael Rubner, have announced a breakthrough in anti-fog technology. Rubner explains that today’s anti-fog materials are vulnerable to frost – which has a similar effect.
MICHAEL RUBNER (Massachusetts Institute of Technology):
In other words, imagine you’re wearing your glasses and you’re outside on a very cold wintry day, and you go into a humid environment. You’ll actually get frost forming on the surfaces of your lenses. And most anti-fog coatings, based on the way they work, would not be able to prevent that.
His team’s material not only absorbs small water droplets, as today’s anti-fog coatings do, but also prevents the trapped droplets from freezing. It also acts as a repellent to larger droplets, so they roll off the surface. Rubner says it’s well suited for eyeglasses, camera lenses, and car windows. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.