Moths in­spire the so­lu­tion for screen glare prob­lem

The Daily Telegraph - - News -

A STEALTH ca­pa­bil­ity that helps moths avoid preda­tors could lead to smart­phones and tablets that are eas­ier to read out­side.

Moths’ eyes are cov­ered with tiny struc­tures that pre­vent them re­flect­ing light and alert­ing night-time hunters look­ing for a meal. They also help the in­sects see in the dark.

Sci­en­tists have copied the moth nan­otech­nol­ogy to pro­duce an an­tire­flec­tive film that al­lows words and im­ages to show up clearly on mo­bile de­vices even in bright sun­light.

The film re­flects just 0.23 per cent of the light fall­ing on it, far less than the 4.4 per cent re­flected from the sur­face of an iphone. Strong light bounc­ing off a screen washes out the dis­play, mak­ing it nec­es­sary to run for shade to check your emails.

Dr Shin-tson Wu, lead re­searcher from the Col­lege of Op­tics and Pho­ton­ics at the Univer­sity of Cen­tral Florida, said: “Us­ing our flex­i­ble an­tire­flec­tion film on smart­phones and tablets will make the screen bright and sharp, even when viewed out­side.

“In ad­di­tion to ex­hibit­ing low re­flec­tion, our na­ture-in­spired film is also scratch re­sis­tant and self-clean­ing, which would pro­tect touch screens from dust and fin­ger­prints.”

The tech­nol­ogy is de­scribed in lat­est is­sue of the jour­nal Op­tica. To get round the re­flec­tion prob­lem, many smart­phones use a sen­sor to de­tect bright am­bi­ent light and boost screen bright­ness. While this im­proves read­abil­ity, it also drains bat­tery power.

Look­ing for a better so­lu­tion, the re­searchers even­tu­ally de­cided to seek lessons from na­ture.

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