Plastics coated with antireflection (AR) coatings have a number of applications including eyeglasses glare reduction, computer screens, and the smartphone display when outdoors. The team from the Penn State has found an AR coating that can enhance the already present coatings to such an extent that the transparent plastics like Plexiglas, which are virtually invisible, can be made. The current study came up when the researchers were looking for higher-efficiency solar panels. According to Chris Giebink from Penn State, this approach basically focused on concentrating light in a small and efficient solar cell by means of plastic lenses but the only concern is to reduce the reflection losses.
The antireflection coating proved proficient over the entire solar spectrum and also at all the angles as the sun traversed the sky. The most important is to withstand weather conditions for a longer period of time. The solution for overcoming such a problem is still being hunted for. The elimination of reflection of a particular wavelength or a specifically directed wavelength is possible but the one that can match up to all the criteria is next to impossible. The eyeglass AR coatings are generally focused toward the narrow visible segment of the spectrum. In comparison to the visible spectrum the solar spectrum is fivefold broader, thus the coating like this cannot work well when it comes to the concentrating solar cell system.
The reflection takes place when the light has to pass through two medium like air and plastic in this case. The refractive index differences can help identify the speed with which light travels through a particular material. In case of air refractive index is 1 whereas in plastic it is 1.5 which will help reflect more. The lowest index of 1.3 is seen in case of a natural coating material like magnesium fluoride or Teflon. The refractive indexes of the materials can be varied depending on the material grade and also blending different materials. The Teflon was modified using the sacrificial molecule to create nanoscale pores in its evaporated version which was later used to form graded index Teflon-air film so as to eradicate reflection. This new antireflection coatings for plastic have unexpected applications in unmanned aerial vehicles, planes, and others. The use of these coatings in plastic solar panels is applicable but not in case of glasses. The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) scientists have found a way to improve perovskite solar cells devices scalability and stability in a solitary step.