Light is reflected when it strikes a surface of higher refractive
index. Diamonds sparkle because they have a very high refractive index.
Unlike conventional multi-coating technology which reduces reflections,
this new discovery by Japanese company Riken's Nanophotonics
Laboratory uses rare metals such as gold and silver to take advantage
of an optical phenomenon discovered by Sir David Brewster in 1815.
Prisms, called 'meta-material prisms,' are composed of transparent
solid material like glass in which nano-meter sized coil of rare
metals are processed and integrated. The technique which has
been described by the company as 'opposing to common sense of optics'
reduces the refractive index at the boundary between air and the
material. Reflections are eliminated as a result.
The research company expect this technique to 'open a new age to
develop new optical appliances'. Non reflective glass could allow for
complicated multi-element lens designs that do not suffer from any
ghosting or flare, with increased light transmission.
Details of the discovery can be found on the Riken website here