MAY 29, 2020 12:58 PM PDT

Smart windows change color to reflect external humidity

New research published in the journal Advanced Optical Materials highlights an innovative technology that signals for windows to change colors depending on the amount of moisture in the air outside. The technology builds off of the existing innovation of smart windows that change color depending on the intensity of the sun’s rays, allowing for reduced energy bills. 

Photo: Pixabay

Developed by a Korean research team, the technology consists of a variable color filter that is composed of a metal-hydrogel-metal resonator structure using chitosan-based hydrogel. As an added benefit, it does not require electricity to run and instead uses solar cells. 

Professors Junsuk Rho, Jaehyuck Jang and Aizhan Ismukhanova at POSTECH, and Professor Inkyu Park at KAIST spearheaded the project. They relied heavily on the resonance phenomena Fabri-Pero interference, adapting it to be more effective in real-time with the addition of the chitosan hydrogel. 

As the authors explain in their paper, “The chitosan swells in response to changes in relative humidity; this change affects the transmissive structural color of the multilayer structure. This tunable resonator is utilized for a humidity sensor combined with a photovoltaic cell. The change in current through the photovoltaic cell provides rapid precise measurement of relative humidity, and the change in color of the multilayer provides an approximate, remotely‐readable estimate. The response requires no power, so the device has numerous sensing applications.”

The resulting humidity sensor responds correspondingly to resonance wavelength and is functional with any type of light, be it natural, LED or indoor. As an added bonus, it also is capable of predicting humidity based on the filter's color.

Professor Junsuk Rho commented, "This technology is a sensing technology that can be used in places like nuclear power reactors where people and electricity cannot reach." He added, "It will create even greater synergy if combined with IoT technology such as humidity sensors that activate or smart windows that change colors according to the level of external humidity."

Sources: Advanced Optical Materials, Eureka Alert

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
APR 15, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
APR 15, 2020
Could this drug help people with SAD?
Have you ever been sad in the winter? If so, you’re not alone. Medaka fish feel it too. Seasonal affective disorde ...
APR 24, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
APR 24, 2020
Do you like your produce bacteria-free?
Researchers from Texas A&M University have developed a hydrophobic dual functionality coating that can be applied to ...
MAY 17, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 17, 2020
Measurements Suggest Spin-Orbit Alignment for TRAPPIST-1's Exoplanets
Of all the exoplanetary systems that astronomers have discovered to date, perhaps one of the most intriguing of those is ...
MAY 22, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAY 22, 2020
3-D Printing a Future with Affordable and Sustainable Nuclear Energy
Admittedly, conventional nuclear plants are extremely costly to build and hazard-prone. To bring atomic energy into the ...
MAY 25, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAY 25, 2020
Ever Wonder How Some Fish Produce Electricity?
When you hear the term ‘electric fish,’ the first thing that probably comes to mind is the infamous electric ...
JUN 10, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
JUN 10, 2020
New "ferroelectric nematic" phase of liquid crystal discovered
As reported recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at the University of Colorado B ...
Loading Comments...