Moth Eye Inspires Anti-Reflective Coating

Researchers have been inspired by the moth eye to create a new, highly effective anti-reflective coating that could be used on solar panels, smartphones, and tablet computers. These primarily nocturnal creatures have evolved non-reflective eyes to avoid predator detection.

The surface’s periodic nanoscale structure causes the non-reflective nature of the moth eye. Because of the rough patterned structure, incident light bounces around in random directions and is transmitted into the eye rather than reflecting off it, as it would from a smooth surface.

Researchers are attempting to create anti-reflection structures (ARSs) for coatings by mimicking the nanoscale arrayed surface of the moth eye. The researchers have already demonstrated an ARS that can suppress reflection across light wavelengths and incident angles. On the other hand, the mold was created by irradiating a glassy carbon substrate with an oxygen ion beam in an electron-cyclotron resonance-type ion source system. This approach is not feasible for the large-scale production of cost-effective anti-reflective coatings. Producing glassy carbon substrates necessitates powder metallurgy technology, which is difficult to apply to large-area molds.

Researchers have developed a promising method for creating molds for the larger-scale fabrication of moth-eye-inspired antireflective coatings. The researchers chose a thin layer deposited on a regular glass substrate over a glassy carbon structure. In addition, they switched from an electron-cyclotron resonance-type ion source to an inductively coupled plasma (ICP) system, which produces a wider beam irradiation range and is better suited for large-area structures. The best quality nanostructured mold was produced by a two-step ICP etching process.

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