Our University Photonics Application and Research Center Develops Nanotechnological Product for Birds
19 August 2021 | 10:00

Our University Photonics Application and Research Center is developing a nanotechnological product to prevent birds from dying as a result of hitting glass. Today, when glass is used as a building material, especially on high-rise buildings,  migration routes become a matter of life and death for birds. This is experienced not only in buildings built on migration routes, but especially in all buildings with glass exteriors. It is in the sources where around a billion birds crash into windows and die every year.

Gazi University Photonics Application and Research Center has launched a project supported by TUBİTAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) within the scope of University-Industry Cooperation with Turkey's largest glass manufacturer Şişecam with the aim of developing technology to prevent birds from hitting glass.

The project was developed by Prof. Dr. Suleyman Özçelik (coordinator) and Associate Professor Nihan AKIN Sönmez (researcher) from the Department of Photonics of the Faculty of Applied Sciences. This project  will enable birds to see the glass by patterning the glass surface in nano size which is a method to be applied for the first time in the world. This will prevent the birds from dying as a result of hitting the glass. These coatings will not be noticed by the human eye as they are based solely on the control of UV light.

The 2004 reports declared that this number in England was 100 milion, and according to the data in the  Journal of Field Ornithology, this number reached 975.6 million in the USA in 1990. In the Wildlife Research Report in 2012, it is stated that 22 million birds perished annually by crashing into home windows in Canada.  In our country, it is estimated that similar bird losses are at significant rates, although we have not yet reached any data on this issue.

Why do birds hit windows? The answer to this question is that birds don not see glass and think it's an empty space!

There is an important difference in perception between birds and the human eye. Visual perception for humans is possible for photons (light) between 400-700 nm, while the visual perception (receptor) of birds is in the range of 350-370 nm; that is, birds can often see effectively in the ultraviolet (UV) zone. Using this difference, it is possible to make a coating that efficiently reflects (makes visible to birds) UV photons, which are significantly invisible to the human eye.