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'First-ever' permanent anti-fog coating developed

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March 17, 2011

Researchers have developed what they say is the world's first-ever permanent anti-fog coat...

Researchers have developed what they say is the world's first-ever permanent anti-fog coating (Photo: mhofstrand, Flickr)

Tired of your glasses fogging up on cold days, or of having to spit in your dive mask before putting it on? Those hassles may become a thing of the past, as researchers from Quebec City's Université Laval have developed what they claim is the world's first permanent anti-fog coating. Just one application is said to work indefinitely on eyeglasses, windshields, camera lenses, or any other transparent glass or plastic surface.

The actual anti-fog coating itself is composed of polyvinyl alcohol, which is a hydrophilic compound that causes the individual droplets of condensation to disperse. Before it can go on to a surface, however, a base of four successive layers of silicon molecules are first applied via an atmospheric plasma process. These layers bond to one another, but also allow the alcohol to bond to them, ensuring the durability and hardness of the combined coating.

While there are already various anti-fogging substances on the market, some of which even do claim to be permanent, the Laval researchers state that these won't stand up to repeated washings, and need to be periodically reapplied.

The university is currently in negotiations with a major eyewear manufacturer, which is reportedly interested in licensing the technology.

Prof. Gaétan Laroche of Laval's Faculty of Sciences and Engineering led the research, which has been published in the journal Applied Materials and Interfaces.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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10 Comments

That will sure help the cold morning rides to work on the Ninja... :)

Fran Firman
17th March, 2011 @ 02:51 pm PDT

Yes - definitely needed! I spent a fortune on a nanotech solution (pun intended:-) which claimed to be permanent. I applied it to half my car windscreens (in and out), half my shower, and half my dive mask. I chose "half" so I could visually tell the difference. That was a year ago - worked great to start with, but now it's all worn off everything completely. There is no longer any difference whatsover between the halfs of everything I put it on...

christopher
17th March, 2011 @ 11:25 pm PDT

I hope this is valid technology! I hate fogging goggles when I am skiiing...

Facebook User
18th March, 2011 @ 09:18 am PDT

"Onward thru the fog!!

Facebook User
18th March, 2011 @ 03:58 pm PDT

Wouldn't the coating need to be hydroPHOBIC in order to repel water?

Bruce Balensiefer
18th March, 2011 @ 04:18 pm PDT

They should have layers of it inside as well as outside, since this could help with the paintball masks too.

Frank Wu
18th March, 2011 @ 09:19 pm PDT

Gene,

It's not designed to repel water. Fogging is the result of condensation that is separated into millions of tiny microscopic droplets. This defogging solution is (and I quote from the paragraph you must have only read halfway) a "hydrophilic compound that causes the individual droplets of condensation to disperse."

Zach Fichtler
19th March, 2011 @ 04:11 pm PDT

Bruce, to follow up on Zach's explanation, "fogging" is caused by light refracting off the very small beads of water that form on a surface that is hydrophobic, because the surface rejects the water and does not allow the water molecules to spread across it. By using a hydrophilic surface the beads of water are "pulled" onto the surface, spreading the droplets into a thinner layer with no rounded surfaces so the light passes straight through, eliminating the "fogging" effect.

Brutal McKillins
21st March, 2011 @ 11:29 am PDT

can this also be applied to the inside of a diving mask?

Yoshifumi Kobayashi
25th March, 2011 @ 01:49 pm PDT

can this also be applied to the inside of a diving mask, swimming goggles?Where we can buy this ?

jessicaliao
15th May, 2011 @ 05:55 pm PDT
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