Plasmonic Materials and Conducting Oxides for Energy-Efficient Window Applications

February 22, 2012 - 12:00pm
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Plasmonics is an exciting area of research because of the promise of new materials capable of remarkable optical properties such as confining and guiding light for sensor and computing applications1, light trapping in photovoltaic cells or the possibility of modulating the transmittance of radiation in smart windows2. Plasmonic materials in the form of metallic multilayers3, 4 or nanostructures embedded in dielectric matrices5, 6 exhibit tunable optical absorptions due to collective resonant oscillation of the free electrons in the conducting material as a response to the incoming illumination. Nevertheless, plasmonic materials are not limited to metallic multilayers or nanoparticles. Of special interest are also conducting oxides that combine plasmonic, thermochromic and electrochromic properties such as VO2 and RuO2. In particular, VO2 has a metal–semiconductor transition at ~340 K that can also be triggered electrically and optically, making this oxide a very interesting material for applications as glazing coating. During my talk, I will show my recent results in the design, fabrication and characterization of plasmonic materials such as metallic and conducting oxide multilayers, nanoparticles embedded in dielectric matrices and nanocomposite systems, all of them with interesting applications in new generation smart windows.

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