Close

Search

Search Menu
Photonics Media Photonics Buyers' Guide Photonics EDU Photonics Spectra BioPhotonics EuroPhotonics Industrial Photonics Photonics Showcase Photonics ProdSpec Photonics Handbook
More News
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
2016 Photonics Buyers' Guide Clearance! – Use Coupon Code FC16 to save 60%!
share
Email Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Comments

Peptides do windows

Photonics Spectra
Mar 2010
Anne L. Fischer, contributing editor, anne.fischer@photonics.com

Nobody really likes washing windows. And dirt and grime – the kind you find on windows – are the bane of a solar panel’s existence. The good news is that a group of researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel, which set out originally to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, may have found a self-cleaning coating that will make window washing a thing of the past.

Led by Ehud Gazit, a professor in the department of molecular micro-biology and biotechnology, the team discovered a way of controlling atoms and molecules of peptides to make them grow into what look like tiny blades of grass or “nanotubules.” The blades are about 100 nm in size – much smaller than a particle of dust. When the nanotubules group together, they form tiny, water-repellent forests. Because the nanotubules were created in a vacuum under high temperatures, the researchers knowthat they can withstand extreme heat.

They see the water-repellent material as a potential coating for skyscraper windows and solar panels. Any dirt or dust that accumulated on the surface would be washed off by rain-water. According to doctoral candidate Lihi Adler-Abramovich, this research also has implications for electric cars. The nanotech material exhibits the property of a high-energy density capacitor, which can give a boost to electric batteries.


Comments
Terms & Conditions Privacy Policy About Us Contact Us
back to top

Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube RSS
©2016 Photonics Media
x Subscribe to Photonics Spectra magazine - FREE!