Brookhaven Lab chemists Ping Liu and José Rodriguez helped to...

Brookhaven Lab chemists Ping Liu and José Rodriguez helped to characterize structural and mechanistic details of a new low-temperature catalyst. Credit: Brookhaven National Laboratory

Glass that could improve your iPhone, sodium batteries that could replace lithium and a path to unprecedented views of the cosmos are just a few of the discoveries on Brookhaven National Laboratorys list of the institute’s top 10 discoveries of the year.

“These 10 discoveries are highlights of the many advances Brookhaven Lab staff and our collaborators made this past year on behalf of Long Island, New York State and the nation,” said Doon Gibbs, Brookhaven Lab director. “It’s been an exciting year, and we look forward to the new discoveries awaiting us in 2018.”

Here’s what the lab included on its list and how these discoveries could one day impact you.

Invisible Glass

Scientists at the lab’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials found a way to drastically reduce the reflections from glass surfaces. Etching nanoscale features into the glass renders it “ultra-transparent,” researchers found. The findings were published in October and could be used to improve solar-cell efficiency or even eliminate the glare from your iPhone, according to a news release from the lab.

This image compares the glare from a conventional piece of...

This image compares the glare from a conventional piece of glass, right, to that from nanotextured glass, left, which shows no glare. Credit: Brookhaven National Laboratory

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