Solution-Processed Smart Window Platforms Based on Plasmonic Electrochromics

  • Sara Abbas

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Electrochromic smart windows offer a viable route to reducing the consumption of buildings energy, which represents about 30% of the worldwide energy consumption. Smart windows are far more compelling than current static windows in that they can dynamically modulate the solar spectrum depending on climate and lighting conditions or simply to meet personal preferences. The latest generation of smart windows relies on nominally transparent metal oxide nanocrystal materials whose chromism can be electrochemically controlled using the plasmonic effect. Plasmonic electrochromic materials selectively control the near infrared (NIR) region of the solar spectrum, responsible for solar heat, without affecting the visible transparency. This is in contrast to conventional electrochromic materials which block both the visible and NIR and thus enables electrochromic devices to reduce the energy consumption of a building or a greenhouse in warm climate regions due to enhancements of both visible lighting and heat blocking. Despite this edge, this technology can benefit from important developments, including low-cost solution-based manufacturing on flexible substrates while maintaining durability and coloration efficiency, demonstration of independent control in the NIR and visible spectra, and demonstration of self-powering capabilities. This thesis is focused on developing low-temperature and all-solution processed plasmonic electrochromic devices and dual-band electrochromic devices. We demonstrate new device fabrication approaches in terms of materials and processes which enhance electrochromic performance all the while maintaining low processing temperatures. Scalable fabrication methods are used to highlight compatibility with high throughput, continuous roll-to-roll fabrication on flexible substrates. In addition, a dualband plasmonic electrochromic device was developed by combining the plasmonic layer with a conventional electrochromic ion storage layer. This enables independent control of the transmittance of NIR and visible spectra and is done without time- and energyintensive synthesis and processing methods. We have fabricated self-powered smart windows by integrating the plasmonic and dual-band devices with organic photovoltaic mini-modules and introduced static color bias with the help of photonic crystals to explore a few possibilities of multi-platform building integration.
Date of AwardApr 30 2018
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorAram Amassian (Supervisor)


  • Electrochromic
  • Plasmonic
  • Smart Window

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