Scientists invent ‘smart’ window material that blocks rays without blocking views
(Nanowerk News) An international research team led by scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has invented a ‘smart’ window material that controls heat transmission without blocking views, which could help cut the energy required to cool and heat buildings.
Developed by NTU researchers, the new energy-saving material for electrochromic (EC) windows that operates at the flick of a switch is designed to block infrared radiation – which is the major component of sunlight that emits heat.
The new material has a specifically designed nanostructure and comprises advanced materials like titanium dioxide (TiO2), tungsten trioxide (WO3),
neodymium-Niobium (Nd-Nb), and tin (IV) oxide (SnO2). The composite material is intended to be coated onto glass window panels, and when activated by electricity, users would be able to ‘switch on and off’ the infrared radiation transmission through the window.
The invention, which featured alongside the front cover of the journal ACS Omega (“Nd–Nb Co-doped SnO2/α-WO3 Electrochromic Materials: Enhanced Stability and Switching Properties”), could block up to 70 per cent of infrared radiation according to experimental simulations without compromising views through the window since it allows up to 90 per cent of visible light to pass through.
The material is also about 30 per cent more effective in regulating heat than commercially available electrochromic windows and is cheaper to make due to its durability.