Hierarchical Network-Augmented Hydroglasses for Broadband Light Management




Zhouyue Lei, Baohu Wu, and Peiyi Wu*. Hierarchical Network-Augmented Hydroglasses for Broadband Light Management. Research 2021, 2021, 4515164.




Light management is essential for military stealth, optical information communication, and energy-efficient buildings. However, current light management materials face challenges of limited optical modulation range and poor mechanical properties. Herein, we report a locally confined polymerization (LCP) approach to develop hierarchical network-augmented hydroglasses (HNAH) based on poly(methacrylic acid) for broadband light management as well as mechanical enhancement. The dynamic geometry of the networks ranging from nano- to micro-scale enables to manage the light wavelength over three orders of magnitude, from the ultraviolet (UV) to infrared (IR) band, and reversibly switches transmittance in the visible region. A smart hydroglass window is developed with elasticity, outstanding robustness, self-healing, notch resistance, biosafety by blocking UV radiation, and high solar energy shielding efficacy with a temperature drop of 13°C. Compared to current inorganic glasses and Plexiglas, the hydroglass not only is a promising and versatile candidate but also provides novel insights into the molecular and structural design of broadband light management and optimized mechanical properties.