Wyly Wade

High efficiency windows and no need for curtains

Seal of the United States Department of Energy.

The glass is the brainchild of scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in California and the Autonomous University of Barcelona. It’s made of niobate, a compound composed of the element niobium and oxygen. The ingredients get mixed together with nanometer-sized crystals of indium tin oxide, or ITO, which is used in touch screens to register when a finger contacts the display. The scientists’ experiments appear online in the Aug. 14 issue of the journal Nature. The team, from the US Department of Energy‘s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has already struck up a partnership with Californian smart window startup Heliotrope to bring the material to market. Heliotrope in fact came out of the Molecular Foundry, where coauthor on the nanocrystal study Delia Milliron works as deputy director. Milliron and her ream were awarded a $3 million (£1.9 million) research grant by the Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy last year, and had already achieved great success with the development of a coating that blocks heat-delivering near-infrared (NIR) light, but not visible light.


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