Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the US have designed a new material that can dynamically modify sunlight as it passes through a window. The coating, made of nanocrystals embedded in glass provides selective control over visible light and heat-producing near-infrared (NIR) light:
Independent control over NIR light means that occupants can have natural lighting indoors without unwanted thermal gain, reducing the need for both air-conditioning and artificial lighting. The same window can also be switched to a dark mode, blocking both light and heat, or to a bright, fully transparent mode.
The innovation was recently recognized with a 2013 R&D 100 Award and the researchers are in the early stages of commercializing their technology.