Researchers develop a film coating that melts ice when electrical current is applied.
Another key feature of the newly-developed deicing film is radio frequency compatibility. While the film is transparent to the human eye, it's also small enough (50 to 200 nanometers thick) to allow radio frequencies to pass unimpeded. From windshields to commercial building windows, the technology could be prevent the harmful effects of ice without compromising access to cell phone and Wi-Fi signals.
“Glass skyscrapers could be kept free of fog and ice, but also be transparent to radio frequencies. It’s really frustrating these days to find yourself in a building where your cell phone doesn’t work. This could help alleviate that problem,” says James Tour, lead chemist on the project.