Nanostructured Materials



Pascal Buskens (1980) studied chemistry at RWTH Aachen University, and received his PhD for research on the reaction mechanism and the development of novel catalyst systems for a C-C coupling reaction yielding allylic amines, part of which he performed at Oxford University. In 2006, he started working for DSM, first as project manager and later as R&D program manager in the functional coatings group. During this time, Pascal and his team successfully developed and commercialized antireflective coatings for glass covers of solar panels, which improve transmission of sunlight into the panel and result in an increased power output. In 2011, Pascal started working at TNO – The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, where he is currently principal scientist. In 2016, he received his habilitation from RWTH Aachen University for his research and teaching activities in the field of ‘Nanostructured Optical Materials’. Since 2017, he combines his work at TNO with a guest professorship at Hasselt University in the Department of Chemistry. His current research interests are nanostructured optical coatings for energy efficient windows and solar panels, and nanomaterials and coatings for sunlight-powered chemical processes.


Antireflective Coatings for Glass: Particle-Based Porous Quarter Wave Coatings​​

Antireflective coatings (ARCs) are applied to reduce surface reflections. Such coatings can be applied to reduce the reflection of the surface of transparent substrates like float glass, polyethylene terephthalate, poly(methyl methacrylate), and polycarbonate. Focus will be on the application of ARCs to float glass. Three main coating concepts exist to lower the reflection at the interface of a transparent substrate and air: multilayer interference coatings, graded index coatings, and quarter-wave coatings. We introduce them and discuss the pros and cons of these three concepts, and zoom in on porous quarter-wave coatings comprising colloidal particles. We extensively discuss the four routes for introducing porosity in quarter-wave coatings through the use of colloidal particles, which have the highest potential for application: (1) packing of dense nanospheres, (2) integration of voids through hollow nanospheres, (3) integration of voids through sacrificial particle templates, and (4) packing of nonspherical nanoparticles. Finally, we address the remaining challenges in the field of ARCs, and elaborate on potential strategies for future research in this area.