S. Woodward-Gagné, R. Beaini, B. Baloukas, O. Zabeida, L. Martinu
Department of Engineering Physics, Polytechnique Montreal, Montreal, Quebec H3T 1J4, Canada
The world we live in is changing at a faster pace then ever before, yet, many of the objects which surround us have remained strangely passive. Take, for instance, the case of architectural low-emissivity glass windows; while their performance has constantly been improved, their passive material-based architecture prohibits any adjustment in their optical transmittance as a function of outdoor environmental conditions for optimal energy consumption. The advent of active materials as well as our increase in control over the growth of materials is thus allowing a multitude of innovative functionalities to be considered.
In this talk, we give an overview of our recent contributions to the field of smart windows, be it through the use of a unique combination of silver and ultrathin thermochromic VO2 coatings for improved optical performance or via glancing angle-deposited (GLAD) SiO2 columnar films overcoated by an atomically-deposited (ALD) TiN for angular selectivity. A VO2-based smart radiator for micro and nanosatellites with the largest ever reported dynamic variation in emissivity (Δε) of 66% is also shown and discussed.
Through these examples, we wish to demonstrate that active materials, due to their unique characteristics, are key in achieving a greener more adaptive future.