Journal Archive

Platinum Metals Rev., 2000, 44, (4), 155

Platinum Films in Gasochromic Switched ‘Smart’ Windows

The solar light and heat allowed into a building can be controlled by WO3-film ‘smart’ windows. Optical modulation is used to ‘switch’ such films to control the frequencies transmitted. Switching can be done in different ways. WO3 films prepared by sputtering have fast colouring/bleaching kinetics, but textured surfaces. Sol-gel-made films have higher visible transmittance in the bleached state and thicker films are easier to make.

Now work from the National Institute of Chemistry, Ljubljana, Slovenia, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Freiburg, Germany, combines sputtering and sol-gel methods: to make WO3 film, with platinum catalyst sputtered on the surface and atomic hydrogen (gasochromism) to ‘switch’ them (U. Opara Krašovec, B. Orel, A. Georg and V. Wittwer, Solar Energy, 2000, 68, (6), 541–551).

Sol-gel WO3 films were made by dip-coating. Adding an ormosil gave thicker, less brittle films of improved coloration. The sol-gel/Pt(sputtered)WO3 films change colour as quickly as Pt/WO3 sputtered films, and faster than WO3 sol-gel films with Pd. In H2/Ar gas mixtures the films colour in H2 concentrations as low as 0.002 per cent. This may give simpler switchable ‘smart’ windows.

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