I-Corps: Dynamic Glazing Technology Based on Nanostructured Vanadium Oxides
Sarbajit Banerjee Principal Investigator
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The proposed I-Corps effort will investigate the potential of dynamic glazing based on the metal-insulator transitions of vanadium oxides (VO2) as an alternative to existing technologies. The proposed research effort will seek to maximize the visible light transmittance of nanostructured VO2 coatings by combining the coatings with an anti-reflective titanium-oxide layer. Nanostructured VO2 laminates will be developed and the infrared transmission/reflection properties will be systematically examined across the phase transition temperatures. The project plans to identify and prioritize impediments to technological realization of switchable vanadium oxide nanomaterials in thermally and electrically responsive fenestration.<br/><br/>Most solar heat gain in buildings occurs via transmission of infrared radiation through windows, doors, and glazed skylights. In warm climates, solar heat gain must be mitigated through the use of air-conditioning, which leads to substantial energy consumption. Current strategies to mitigate solar heat gain take the form of aesthetically unappealing drapery or static metallic coatings that are prohibitively expensive while diminishing the use of natural daylight, thereby leading to increased use of artificial lighting, and, because these technologies are static across all temperatures, an elimination of the offset in wintertime heating costs that would otherwise be provided due to solar heat gain. The dual thermochromic and electrochromic functionality that can be achieved in nanostructured vanadium oxide thin films will be potentially transformative for the fenestration, automotive, and consumer glass industries. Switchable glazing technologies based on the metal-insulator transitions of vanadium oxides could provide substantial energy savings while permitting better use of natural lighting. Further development of this technology has the potential to provide end users with lower recurrent utility costs, increased comfort, and improved aesthetics while substantially reducing the carbon footprint of the building.