Low Thermal Conductivity Coatings

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THINNER coating of mesoporous SiO2 and TiO2 thin films

This is a relatively new endeavor in Tolbert group with collaboration with several engineering groups at UCLA under the funding from ARPA-e. We focus on developing thermally insulating transparent barrier (THINNER) coatings on single pane windows. By incorporating nanoporous structure into window coatings, we propose to enhance thermal insulating properties while ensuring visible transparency of window. The coating will exhibit strong phonon scattering due to (a) large pore interfacial area to volume ratio,(b) phonon dispersion mismatch between different types of nanocrystals with different vibration modes, and (c) roughness and Debye temperature mismatch between adjacent layers to increase thermal boundary resistance. By controlling simultaneously light and thermal radiation transfer at the nanoscale, We are trying to understand the underlying physics in nanostructured porous materials as well to enhance the macroscale performance of single pane windows. We are also looking into developing scalable process for industrial application.