Prof. Milliron Advances Toward Cheaper, Flexible Smart Windows

solid-state electrochromic device fabricated on a flexible substrate, in the light and dark statesA recent publication in the journal Nature Materials describes a new flexible composite material and how it can be successfully integrated into high-performance flexible electrochromic devices, such as smart windows.

CEC faculty members Prof. Delia Milliron and Prof. Graeme Henkelman are co-authors on the publication. When incorporated into windows, sunroofs, or even curved glass surfaces, the material should have the ability to control transmission of both heat and light from the sun to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

The material is based on tin-doped indium oxide (ITO) nanocrystals embedded in a niobium oxide (NbOx) glass, which can be fabricated into electrochromic films using a room-temperature solution process (rather than more conventional processes, which are energy-intensive). The authors discuss that, with this new process, the structure of the NbOx is one-dimensional and chain-like, compared to a typical three-dimensional network obtained from conventional high-temperature thermal processing.

Link: A summary of the paper by the College of Natural Sciences

Link: The publication in Nature Materials