Moth-inspired film makes reading in sunlight a lot easier
Screens on new phones and tablets can be difficult to read outdoors in the sunlight. Inspired by the nanostructures found in the eyes of moths, researchers have developed a new anti-reflective film that could prevent people from having to run in the shade to see their mobile devices.
The anti-reflective film has a surface reflection of only 0.23%, much lower than the surface of the iPhone, reflecting 4.4%, for example. Reflection is the main reason why it is difficult to read a phone screen under sunlight, so strong light from the surface of the reflecting screen gives off the screen.
Researchers led by Shin-Tson Wu University School of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida (CREOL) report their new anti-reflective coating Optica, Journal of Optical Society’s Impact Research.
“Using our flexible reflection film against on smart phones and tablets will make the display bright and sharp even if viewed on the outside,” Wu said. “In addition to having a low reflection, our nature-inspired film is also scratch-resistant and self-cleaning, which would protect touch screens from dust and fingerprints.”
The new film contains small uniform dimples, each about 100 nanometers in diameter (about one thousandth of the width of the hair). The liner can also be used with flexible display applications, such as folding screen phones, which should hit the market next year.
Inspired by nature
Many smartphones nowadays use a sensor to detect an ambient light is intense, and increases the level of screen brightness enough to overcome the strong reflection of the surface. Although this type of adaptive brightness control can help improve readability, it also eliminates battery power. Other methods to solve the problem of the visibility of the sun have been difficult to implement.
Looking for a simpler approach to improving the readability of the outdoor screen, researchers are turning to nature. The eyes of the head of the butterflies are covered with the anti-reflective nanostructured pattern that allow the head of the butterfly to see in the dark and prevent reflections of the eyes that can see the predators.
Because other research groups have experienced the use of similar moth nanostructures to reduce sunlight reflected by the surface of the solar cell, Wu and his team thought that the same technique could also work on mobile displays.
“While it is known that anti-pain structures can reduce surface reflection, it is relatively difficult to make an anti-reflective film with the nanostructure large enough to be used on a mobile phone or tablet,” said Guanjan Tan, Article. “Because the structures are so small, a high-precision, high-resolution manufacturing technique is required.”
Researchers have developed a manufacturing technique that uses self-assembled nanospheres to form a specific pattern that can be used to create the anti-mite structure in a coating. The simplified
The city and the precision of this procedure allowed the fabrication of the complex structure in a film large enough to be applied to a moving screen.
The researchers also developed a computational model to simulate the behavior of optical coatings. Having shown that the model accurately depicts experimental results, the researchers used them to optimize the size of the head nanostructures for better headroom performance.
See the sunlight
Testing the film after optimization showed that when they were visible to the sun, the glass cover of the new film had an improvement of more than four times the contrast ratio – the difference between the brighter black and the darker black.
When seen in the shade, the glass with the new film showed an improvement of ten times the contrast ratio. The researchers also used standard industrial procedures to test their flexibility and scratch-resistant and self-cleaning ability.