Thermochromic hydrogel for smart windows application
Energy-efficient smart windows can reduce a building’s energy consumption by dynamically controlling the transmission of solar energy. However, current thermochromic smart windows based on Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAm) still face some challenges, such as insufficient regulatory capacity and low durability.
Researchers now report a durable smart window with adjustable LCST (lower critical solution temperature), which provides a comfortable indoor living environment even when the outdoor temperature is high. The study shows that the nanostructured network can greatly improve the mechanical properties of the hydrogel, the covalent bonding between glass and hydrogel can significantly improve the service life of PNIPAm smart windows, and the addition of NaCl can achieve the regulation of LCST of the PNIPAm hydrogels. The obtained smart windows exhibit high durability, and its adjustable LCST broadens the application of the smart windows.
The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 157, August 2021.