With global temperatures rising, technologies that can improve energy efficiency of heating and cooling are more important than ever before. The energy use of buildings and transportation vehicles due to lighting, cooling and heating corresponds to about 40% of the world’s annual energy consumption. Windows are the leading source of energy loss for buildings and vehicles. One way to reduce this energy loss is to use smart windows with thermochromic coatings which can spontaneously modulate the solar energy transmission in response to the ambient temperature.
Vanadium dioxide (VO2) is a promising candidate for these coatings due to a stable, rapid, reversible metal-to-insulator transition across a critical temperature. Single crystal VO2 has a transition temperature of 68°C which is too high for practical applications. The goal of my research is to investigate the complex parameter space (such as layer architecture, coating chemistry, deposition condition) of a multilayer multifunctional VO2 coating to lower the transition temperature as close to room temperature as possible, while optimizing the coating optical performance and energy efficiency.
Advisor: Junlan Wang – Mechanical Engineering