Korean university develops new low power reflective glass

  Science & technology

Reversible electrochemical mirrors can switch between transparent and reflective states and remain reflective for up to two hours without external electrical power.

YonseiUniversity
When a reduction voltage is applied, a reflective layer of metallic silver is deposited onto the electrode surface
Scientists in South Korea have developed a reversible electrochemical mirror (REM) that can switch between a transparent and reflective state, and remain reflective for up to two hours without external electrical power. Such mirrors could be used in smart windows to control lighting and reduce cooling costs for buildings.
The REM, developed by the group of Professor Eunkyoung Kim at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, consists of a layer containing silver electrolyte which is sandwiched between two transparent electrode panes. When a reduction voltage is applied, a reflective layer of metallic silver is deposited onto the electrode surface. Applying an oxidising potential dissolves the mirror coating by ionising the metallic silver.
Previous mirrors based on metallic thin films were limited by the short lifetime of reflective layer once the power was switched off. Professor Eunkyoung and her co-workers solved the problem by using an ionic liquid as the electrolyte. “Because ionic liquid induces the development of an electric double layer, which repels anions from the metal surface, the electrodeposited metals can be maintained without external electrical power,” Professor Eunkyoung explained. The researchers also overcame the tendency of the metal coating to rupture during deposition by modifying the electrode surface with thiol groups.
Combining reflectivity and low energy consumption could be useful in building lighting and climate systems. According to Professor Eun...
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