Nanomaterials in Smart Energy-Efficient Coatings

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy and Catalysis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 July 2024 | Viewed by 8968

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
State Key Laboratory of High Performance Ceramics and Superfine Microstructure, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200050, China
Interests: functional films growth; dynamic energy-efficient windows; metasurfaces; radiative cooling; sensors and devices

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Smart energy-efficient coatings are generally regarded as a promising way to modulate the energy going into and out of a closed space by controlling the transmittance/reflectance/ emissivity of the light. Though significant progress has been made in recent decades, some important issues still require improvement in device performance for real applications. Generally, there are three kinds of important energy-efficient applications: smart window coatings, smart roof coatings, and smart wall coatings. Recently, the emerging use of nanostructures with newly developed nanotechnology provides opportunities to enhance the performance of smart energy-efficient coatings. In addition, new nanostructure designs have been developed to modulate the infrared region in order to expand applications to spacecraft. Furthermore, new composited nanomaterials of organic and inorganic have been developed to exhibit flexible performance, which will promote the application of smart energy-efficient coatings.

This Special Issue focuses on the latest theoretical developments and practical applications of smart energy-efficient coatings. It aims to attract both academic and industrial researchers in order to promote the development of smart coatings in energy-efficient applications. We invite authors to contribute original research articles and review articles covering current progress in nanostructured smart energy-efficient coatings. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Smart window coatings based on chromogenic materials and devices (electrochromic, thermochromic, photochromic, etc.)
  • Smart roof coatings (radiative cooling) based on nanostructures and multilayers
  • Smart wall coatings (organic/inorganic/composite materials)
  • Flexible coatings and devices for energy-efficient applications

Prof. Dr. Xun Cao
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • smart
  • energy-efficient
  • films and coatings
  • nanostructures
  • chromogenic materials
  • flexible
  • dynamic modulation

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 3020 KiB  
Article
Co-Sputtering Crystal Lattice Selection for Rare Earth Metal-Based Multi Cation and Mixed Anion Photochromic Films
by Ming Li, Zewei Shao, Zhongshao Li, Dandan Zhu, Junwei Wang, Smagul Zh. Karazhanov, Ping Jin and Xun Cao
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(4), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13040684 - 9 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1468
Abstract
Rare-earth oxyhydride (ReOxHy) films are novel inorganic photochromic materials that have strong potential for applications in windows and optical sensors. Cations greatly influence many material properties and play an important role in the photochromic performance of ReOxH [...] Read more.
Rare-earth oxyhydride (ReOxHy) films are novel inorganic photochromic materials that have strong potential for applications in windows and optical sensors. Cations greatly influence many material properties and play an important role in the photochromic performance of ReOxHy. Here we propose a strategy for obtaining Gd1−zYzOxHy films (z = 1, 0.7, 0.5, 0.4, 0.35, 0.25, 0.15, 0) using one-step direct-current (DC) magnetron co-sputtering. Distinct from the mixed anion systems, such material would belong to the class of mixed anion and mixed cation materials. For Gd1−zYzOxHy films, different co-doping ratios can help tune the contrast ratio (that is, the difference between coloration and bleaching transmittance) and cycling degradation, which may be related to the lattice constant. X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns show that the lattice constant increases from 5.38 Å for YOxHy to 5.51 Å, corresponding to Gd0.75Y0.25OxHy. The contrast ratio, in particular, can be enhanced to 37% from 6.3% by increasing the lattice constant, directly controlled by the co-sputtering power. When the lattice constant decreases, the surface morphology of the sample with the smallest lattice constant is essentially unchanged by testing in air with normal oxidation for 100 days, suggesting great improvement in environment durability. However, the crystal structure cannot be overly compressed, and co-sputtering with Cr gives black opaque films without photochromic properties. Moreover, because the atomic mass of different rare earth elements is different, the critical pressure p* (films deposited at p < p* remain metallic dihydrides) is different, and the preparation window is enlarged. Our work provides insights into innovative photochromic materials that can help to achieve commercial production and application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials in Smart Energy-Efficient Coatings)
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10 pages, 2289 KiB  
Article
A Low Driving-Voltage Hybrid-Electrolyte Electrochromic Window with Only Ferreous Redox Couples
by Jisheng Song, Bingkun Huang, Yinyingjie Xu, Kunjie Yang, Yingfan Li, Yuqi Mu, Lingyu Du, Shan Yun and Litao Kang
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(1), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13010213 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1770
Abstract
Even after decades of development, the widespread application of electrochromic windows (ECW) is still seriously restricted by their high price and inadequate performance associated with structural/fabrication complexity and electrochemical instability. Herein, a simple hybrid electrochromic system based on PFSA (perfluorosulfonic acid)-coated Prussian blue [...] Read more.
Even after decades of development, the widespread application of electrochromic windows (ECW) is still seriously restricted by their high price and inadequate performance associated with structural/fabrication complexity and electrochemical instability. Herein, a simple hybrid electrochromic system based on PFSA (perfluorosulfonic acid)-coated Prussian blue (PB, Fe4III [FeII(CN)6]3) film and Ferricyanide–Ferrocyanide ([Fe(CN)6]4−/[Fe(CN)6]3−)-containing hybrid electrolyte is reported. The PB film and the [Fe(CN)6]4−/[Fe(CN)6]3− couple show near redox potentials well inside the electrochemical window of water, resulting in a low driven voltage (0.4 V for coloring and −0.6 V for bleaching) and a relatively long lifespan (300 cycles with 76.9% transmittance contrast retained). The PFSA layer, as a cation-exchange structure, significantly improves the transmittance modulation amplitude (ΔT: 23.3% vs. 71.9% at a wavelength of 633 nm) and optical memory abilities (ΔT retention: 10.1% vs. 67.0% after 300 s open-circuit rest increases) of the device, by means of preventing the direct contact and charge transfer between the PB film and the [Fe(CN)6]4−/[Fe(CN)6]3− couple. This “hybrid electrolyte + electron barrier layer” design provides an effective way for the construction of simple structured electrochromic devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials in Smart Energy-Efficient Coatings)
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14 pages, 3508 KiB  
Article
Low Solar Absorptance, High Emittance Performance Thermochromic VO2-Based Smart Radiator Device
by Ali Hendaoui
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(24), 4422; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12244422 - 11 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1432
Abstract
Thermochromic vanadium dioxide (VO2)-based smart radiator devices (SRDs) display emittance variation with changes in temperature, making them very promising for energy-efficient thermal control of spacecrafts in general, and nanosatellites in particular. However, the high solar absorptance of the VO2-based [...] Read more.
Thermochromic vanadium dioxide (VO2)-based smart radiator devices (SRDs) display emittance variation with changes in temperature, making them very promising for energy-efficient thermal control of spacecrafts in general, and nanosatellites in particular. However, the high solar absorptance of the VO2-based SRDs remains too high for their intended application. Based on an approach combining optical simulation and experimental work, I demonstrate that an additional top stack layer alternating between high and low refractive indices made of a-Si(25 nm)/SiO2(67 nm) reduces the solar absorptance of a VO2-based SRD by 35% (from 0.43 to 0.28) while keeping the emittance performance of the SRD within the requirements for the intended application (low-temperature emittance εL = 0.35, high-temperature emittance εH = 0.81 and emittance tuneability with temperature Δε = 0.46). I also discuss factors to consider while designing additional top stack layers alternating between high and low refractive indices to further decrease the SRD’s solar absorptance without affecting its emittance performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials in Smart Energy-Efficient Coatings)
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10 pages, 2790 KiB  
Article
One-Step Hydrothermal Synthesis, Thermochromic and Infrared Camouflage Properties of Vanadium Dioxide Nanorods
by Youbin Hao, Weidong Xu, Ming Li, Suhong Wang, Heng Liu, Xin Yang and Jie Yang
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(19), 3534; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12193534 - 10 Oct 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1730
Abstract
Vanadium dioxide (VO2) has attracted interest from researchers because it undergoes a metal–insulator phase transition (MIT), which is accompanied by a reversible and remarkable change in both electrical and optical properties. VO2 exhibits numerous polymorphs and thus it is essential [...] Read more.
Vanadium dioxide (VO2) has attracted interest from researchers because it undergoes a metal–insulator phase transition (MIT), which is accompanied by a reversible and remarkable change in both electrical and optical properties. VO2 exhibits numerous polymorphs and thus it is essential to control the growth of specific monoclinic VO2 (M) and rutile VO2 (R) phases. In this study, we developed a cost-effective and facile method for preparing VO2 nanorods with a highly crystalline monoclinic phase by one-step hydrothermal synthesis, in which only V2O5 and H2C2O4 are used as raw materials. The phase evolution of VO2 during the hydrothermal process was studied. The obtained VO2 nanorods were thoroughly mixed with fluorocarbon resin and homogeneous emulsifier in an ethanol solution to obtain a VO2 dispersion. To prepare VO2 films, screen printing was performed with a stainless steel screen mesh mask on glasses or fabric substrate. The VO2 coating had good thermochromic performance; the infrared transmittance change was greater than 20% @1.5 μm whilst keeping the visible transmittance greater than 50%. Meanwhile, the polyester base coating on the fabric had an emissivity change of up to 22%, which provides a solution for adaptive IR camouflage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials in Smart Energy-Efficient Coatings)
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10 pages, 3027 KiB  
Article
A Thermal-Switchable Metamaterial Absorber Based on the Phase-Change Material of Vanadium Dioxide
by Zhongbao Wang, Yanli Ma, Ming Li, Liangfei Wu, Tiantian Guo, Yuejun Zheng, Qiang Chen and Yunqi Fu
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(17), 3000; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12173000 - 30 Aug 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1781
Abstract
This article presents a thermal-switchable metamaterial absorber (TSMA) based on the phase-change material of vanadium dioxide (VO2). VO2 thin film was deposited on sapphire substrate by magnetron sputtering followed by vacuum annealing treatment. Then, the prepared VO2 film was [...] Read more.
This article presents a thermal-switchable metamaterial absorber (TSMA) based on the phase-change material of vanadium dioxide (VO2). VO2 thin film was deposited on sapphire substrate by magnetron sputtering followed by vacuum annealing treatment. Then, the prepared VO2 film was sliced into tiny chips for thermal-switchable elements. The surface structure of TSMA was realized by loading four VO2 chips into a square metallic loop. The absorption frequency of TSMA was located at 7.3 GHz at room temperature and switched to 6.8 GHz when the temperature was heated above the critical phase transition temperature of VO2. A VO2-based TSMA prototype was fabricated and measured to verify this design. The design is expected to be used in metasurface antennas, sensors, detectors, etc. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials in Smart Energy-Efficient Coatings)
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