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Anti-Fog Coating

March 20, 2013

A new anti-fog coating for windshields and eyeglasses also staves off frost.



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.