Krasnoyarsk scientists develop ‘smart’ glass with ‘memory’
20 Nov '12
Andrei Belousov, a Siberian Federal University (SFU) postgraduate in Krasnoyarsk, has developed a technology that enables to cut the cost of ‘smart’ glass production by more than 50%. The effort was led by Tamara Patrusheva, a professor from the local instrumentation and nanoelectronics chair, the official SFU website reports.
“Smart’ electrochromic glass that changes transparency when impacted by electrical current is known internationally as a good alternative to curtains, blinds and shading screens. It saves energy as rooms with such glass require less heating in winter; the glass is said to reduce heat losses in building by an estimated five times. The material is durable and strong and can therefore be used both for interior or exterior applications in car-making, aircraft-building, and even in the spacecraft sector. What holds back wider use of the glass is its high cost, though.
According to Mr. Belousov, the technology he has developed is cost-effective. He estimates that one square meter of his glass will cost about $150—less than half of the cost of its international competition, the postgraduate claims. “We do not use vacuum deposition to make our electrochromic glass; we achieve the optimization of active components’ properties by employing new chemical methods of applying film.”
The Krasnoyarsk-originating electrochromic device provides two optically transparent interconnected electrodes. Space between the electrodes is filled with active electrochromic composition consisting of ion-conducting electrolyte and electrochromic film. When low-voltage (less than 6V) electrical current is applied, ions shift from one layer to another and enter into a reversible chemical reaction. This results in change in the transparency of the composition, thus either increasing or reducing electrochromic glass’ optical transmission.
The Krasnoyarsk electrochromic glass requires no permanent application of electrical current, as once transparency is changed the innovative glass ‘remembers’ the change and keeps it until the next application of current.