AsianScientist (Feb. 26, 2019) – Windows that filter out atmospheric particulate matter (PM) while allowing indoor light intensity to be adjusted could soon be a reality with the invention of a silver (Ag)-nylon mesh by scientists in China. Their work is published in the journal iScience.
As people spend more time indoors, the conditions of lighting and indoor air purity are important to health and productivity. Windows, being the inlet for light and air, have an important role in regulating indoor conditions.
In this study, scientists led by Professor Yu Shuhong from the University of Science and Technology of China have invented smart windows with variable transparency which also function to filter out atmospheric PM. They used a simple solution-based process to fabricate large-area Ag-nylon flexible transparent windows for high-efficiency PM2.5 capture.
Embedded with flexible transparent electrodes that can change the light transmittance of the window in response to electrical or thermal stimulus, the invention allows the light intensity of commercial buildings to be tuned to maintain thermal comfort. Importantly, it costs only about US$15.03 and takes just 20 minutes to fabricate 7.5 m2 Ag-nylon flexible transparent windows with a sheet resistance of as low as 8.87 Ω sq-1 and optical transmittance of 86.05 percent, without any modification.
The researchers also demonstrated that their Ag-nylon mesh could efficiently remove 99.65 percent of atmospheric PM, remaining stable even after 100 cycles of filtration and cleaning. Furthermore, the mesh withstood 10,000 cycles of bending with a minimum bending radius of 2.0 mm, as well as 1,000 cycles of stretching deformation with mechanical strain as high as ten percent.
The success of the present design strategy provides more choices in developing next-generation flexible transparent smart windows and air pollution filters, said the researchers.
The article can be found at: Huang et al. (2019) Mass Production of Nanowire-Nylon Flexible Transparent Smart Windows for PM2.5 Capture.
Source: University of Science and Technology of China.
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