Window Coating Breakthrough Wins R&D 100 Award

The Universal Smart Window Coating invented by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers can block heat-producing solar radiation without blocking visible light.

Eight inventions by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists earned 2013 R&D 100 Awards from R&D Magazine, and the U.S. Department of Energy's facilities received 36 of the awards this year. Berkeley Lab's Julie Chao reported one of the lab's winners is the Universal Smart Window Coating, which allows building occupants to control how much of the sun's light and heat enters through its windows.

The coating was invented by a team of four researchers, with Delia Milliron of the lab's Molecular Foundry leading the group. The others are Guillermo Garcia, Raffaella Buonsanti, and Anna Llordés, Chao reported.

Describing it as an inexpensive, nanocomposite electrochromic coating, Chao explained that it can block heat-producing, near-infrared solar radiation without blocking visible light, so it will reduce the need for air-conditioning and artificial lighting.

The R&D 100 Awards recognize the year's best 100 technology products from industry, academia, and government-sponsored research.

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