QotW - 14.09.21 - How is self cleaning glass made?

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Offline thedoc

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Hello I am a year 12 Student at Salisbury High School and I am doing an assignment on Nanotechnology, self-cleaning glass. I have a question: "How is self cleaning glass made?"

It will be greatly appreciated if you can possibly provide any information.

Thank-You from Nikki

Asked by Nikki Way

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« Last Edit: 29/09/2014 10:39:46 by _system »


Offline JP

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Re: How is self cleaning glass made?
« Reply #1 on: 30/04/2014 14:37:00 »
Hi Nikki,

The way these work is to put a coating or structure on the glass that prevents water from sticking to it.  One possible way to do this is to make tiny nanocones that are so small and pointy that water can't squeeze between them.  Since water has to balance on their tips, it can't really stick to the surface and rolls off easily.  If you make a window coated with something like this and it rains, the water forms droplets that roll off rather than sticking to it.  Once the rain stops, the window is dry as all the water has rolled off.

If the window gets dirt on it, the dirt particles are also too big to fit between the cones, so as the water beads up and rolls off, it picks up the dirt particles as well.  That way if you make windows of this material, every time it rains, it's like washing the windows.  This is also a big technology for solar cells, which obviously work best when not dirty.  Rather than needing to clean them, you could make them self-cleaning and let the rain clean them for you.