TechConnect Innovation Program

An Anti-reflective and Anti-Soiling Coating for Glass

ARL Designs LLC, NJ, United States

TECHNOLOGY SUMMARY

ARL Designs has developed a unique process for the fabrication of a low-cost, anti-reflective, self-cleaning superhydrophobic coating for glass. Results demonstrate high optical transmission, low-angular dependence of transmission properties, mechanical and chemical stability. Technology is available today for prototypes. Scale-up for manufacturing will use currently available tools.

Primary Application Area: Energy & Efficiency

Technology Development Status: Prototype

Technology Readiness Level: TRL 4

FIGURES OF MERIT

Value Proposition: Coatings produced by ARL Designs will increase the electrical harvest of PV arrays and ensure the safe operation of camera systems. The low-cost fabrication process can be implemented by glass producers, as well as manufactures that use glass, to produce surfaces that are anti-soiling, anti-icing and anti-reflective.

SHOWCASE SUMMARY

Organization Type: Early-stage Startup (Seed)

National Innovation Awardee

Showcase Booth #: 46M

Website: arldesignsllc.com

GOVT/EXTERNAL FUNDING SOURCES

Government Funding/Support to Date: ARL Designs has been awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research Grant; phase I and II totaling roughly $1M. Entitled “Scratch and Abrasion Resistant Superhydrophobic Polymer Coatings”, Phase I (Award#:1215288) was received 7/1/2012 and Phase II (Award#:1330949) began 9/1/2013. The team’s R&D activities have shown that control of surface roughness can be used to fabricate surfaces on which water slips off the surface at low tilt angles (i.e. low slip angles) yet the surfaces remain superhydrophobic after being subjected to mechanical abrasion. A model was developed to explain these results. Correlations of polymer structure on mechanical stability were also developed. This knowledge is being paired with high speed fabrication techniques.

The team was awarded a PowerBridgeNY grant of $150K to explore the PV application. http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/04122014-powerbridgeny-clean-energy. Leveraging previous work, our inventors have produced a material with roughness below the wavelength of visible light. This process, amenable to automated processing combines the process of self-cleaning and anti-reflectivity. It can be produced as a free-standing film or cast on a glass substrate.

The team works closely with Professor Alan Lyons' research laboratory at the City University of New York.

Primary Sources of Funding: Personal Savings, Federal Grant

Looking for: Both Funding and Development Partners