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Home  > Raw materials & technologies  > Technologies  > Nanotechnology  > Learning from non-reflecting moths-eyes

Thursday, 04 June 2020
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Raw materials & technologies, Technologies, Nanotechnology

Learning from non-reflecting moths-eyes

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

A new nanocoating ensures a perfectly non-reflecting view on displays and through eyeglasses. The hybrid coating has further advantages: the components are scratch-proof and easy to clean.

This car speedometer cover with two anti-reflective circular surface areas was manufactured in just one step Source: Fraunhofer IWM

This car speedometer cover with two anti-reflective circular surface areas was manufactured in just one step Source: Fraunhofer IWM

Moths are the prototype. As they search for food at dusk they have to hide from predators. Their presence must not be betrayed by reflections on their facet eyes. On other insects these eyes shimmer, but the moth’s eyes are perfectly non-reflecting. Tiny protuberances smaller than the wavelength of light form a periodic structure on the surface. This nanostructure creates a gentle transition between the refractive indices of the air and the cornea. As a result, the reflection of light is reduced and the moth remains undetected. Research scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg have adopted this artifice and adapted it to a range of different applications. On eyeglasses, cell phone displays, fitting or panel covers, transparent surfaces are generally only useful if they allow viewing without light reflecting back. Whereas conventional methods apply the anti-reflective coating in a separate step after production, the scientists have found a way of reducing light reflection during actual manufacture of the part or componentFor this the researchers have developed a hard material coating which reproduces the optically effective surface structure.

related links:

http://www.fraunhofer.de/en

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