Protective layers should make smart windows even smarter


The project "Protective layers should make smart windows even smarter" has received funding within the framework of Uppsala University's Verification for collaboration program, VFS, where researchers and organizations are given the opportunity to jointly develop and test new solutions to needs-driven and concrete challenges.

Smart windows use electrochromism (EC), an energy-saving technology which allows control of the solar heat and light transmission. A building with smart glass windows can therefore significantly reduce its energy consumption, and thus the cost, for cooling, air conditioning and illumination. An additional plus is that indoor comfort can increase.

Smart windows have been commercially available for some years but have not yet made a breakthrough. EC devices consist of dynamic materials in several thin layers and still suffer from compatibility oriented issues between these layers, such as degradation, dark spots and cracks. This ultimately reduces performance and product quality.

In this project, Ilknur Bayrak Pehlivan, a researcher at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in collaboration with Sisecam, which is the largest flat glass manufacturer in Europe, will develop and adapt oxide thin film protective layers to EC systems. More specifically, preparation and characterization of oxide thin film protective layers between electrochromic and polymer electrolyte layers is targeted. The project aims to contribute new knowledge in the field of protective layers and improve the EC properties and durability of EC systems.

The project will also be a basis for continued research on multi-functional EC devices, which in addition to controlling heat and light can provide energy storage and energy production. By joining forces and combining fundamental research and industrial experience to advance the development of EC technology this project can help realise the enormous potential for energy savings in modern buildings.