SEOUL, Oct. 23 (Korea Bizwire) – A smart window technology was jointly developed by Korean and British scientists enabling automatic sunshine control and generating electricity at the same time.
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) announced on October 22 that its Center for Opto-Electronic Convergence led by lead scientist Ko Doo-hyun succeeded in developing a multi-functional smart window by incorporating an optically tunable liquid-crystal layer with a transparent solar cell.
Dr. Ko’s research team combined liquid crystal materials with a spiral molecule structure with azobenzene compounds and made a new type of liquid crystal. The azobenzene compounds have a special function reorganizing its molecule structure which can control the spiral cycle depending on the incident light.
The device can switch by itself from a transparent mode (day mode) to an opaque and idle mode (night mode) and the panel with a transparent solar cell can generate electricity during the daytime. Existing smart window technology can control the sunshine but it needs external energy to switch between the transparent and opaque states or users should operate it manually.
Dr. Ko said, “If the all-in-one smart window technology is utilized in the window, it is expected to contribute to relieving the problem of electricity shortage. We will make further studies for the its transparency control and the commercial use of the technology.”
The research results were posted on October issue of the online version of Advanced Energy Materials, an international science journal on electronic materials.
By John Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)