Controlling Light Transmission: Recent Developments in Smart Windows at SWITCH Materials Inc.
Dr. Glen Bremner(Switch Materials Inc.)
Title: Dynamic glazing (commonly called smart windows) is a technological field focused on modulating light transmission through windows to improve occupant comfort, increase privacy, or prevent photodegradation. Depending on the technology, the change in transmission is triggered by different stimuli, such as light (photochromism), temperature (thermochromism), or electricity (electrochromism). Founded on research originating from the Branda lab at Simon Fraser University, SWITCH Materials is developing a dynamic sunroof glazing product to address the issue of solar heat gain in vehicles. The technology is based on diarylethene molecules, which exhibit a hybrid electrochromic-photochromic response. Sunlight induces a ring-closing reaction of the diarylethene molecule to its more deeply-coloured isomer. Electrochemical oxidation of the ring-closed isomer triggers a ring-opening reaction, returning the molecule back to its original, less-coloured state. The hybrid response makes SWITCH Materials’ technology uniquely suited to the automotive market. Passive darkening of the sunroof in response to sunlight helps minimize solar heat gain and the ability to lighten the film by applying a low voltage enables the user to control the amount of light entering the vehicle cabin on demand. In this seminar, the science and engineering behind the electrochromic-photochromic behaviour of SWITCH Materials’ technology will be presented, from small molecule to full-sized sunroof parts.
Bio: Glen Bremner received his B.Sc. from McGill University (2004). He completed his Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia in 2014 under the direction of Michael O. Wolf, studying the electrochemistry of gold nanoparticle-polythiophene films. Since 2012, he has been at SWITCH materials Inc., where he currently leads the electrochemistry team within the R&D department.