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Proceedings Paper

Photoelectrochromic smart windows
Author(s): Brian A. Gregg; Clemens Bechinger; J. Roland Pitts
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Paper Abstract

Electrochromic films have been combined with photoelectrochemical electrodes to make a self-powered smart window. These 'photoelectrochromic' smart windows combine the advantages of photochromic films, namely that they are self- powered by the incident light, with the advantages of electrochromic windows, such as the ability to control the state of coloration externally when desired. When the windows are short-circuited, the observable process is photochromism, but the mechanism is unique and has several potential advantages over conventional photochromic films. The light absorbing process is physically separate from the coloration process, allowing each to be individually optimized. The materials constraints are greatly relaxed compared to single- component photochromic films in which one material must meet all criteria (color change, switching speed, photostability, etc.). Furthermore, since the coloration process in a PEC cell requires an external electrical current between the two electrodes, a particular state (transparent, absorbing, or imaged) can either be stored when the electrodes are at open circuit, or can be changed when the electrodes are connected. The light-absorbing function in the PEC cell is performed by a dye-sensitized semiconductor electrode that produces a photovoltage sufficient to color the electrochromic film deposited on the counterelectrode. We describe the dye sensitization process, its advantages over conventional photovoltaic devices in applications such as smart windows, and recent developments in photoelectrochromic smart windows.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 October 1997
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3138, Optical Materials Technology for Energy Efficiency and Solar Energy Conversion XV, (14 October 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.279201
Show Author Affiliations
Brian A. Gregg, National Renewable Energy Lab. (United States)
Clemens Bechinger, National Renewable Energy Lab. (United States)
J. Roland Pitts, National Renewable Energy Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3138:
Optical Materials Technology for Energy Efficiency and Solar Energy Conversion XV
Carl M. Lampert; Claes G. Granqvist; Michael Graetzel; Satyen K. Deb, Editor(s)

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