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Designação do projeto | Projeto SOLPOWINS – Solar-Powered Smart Windows for Sustainable Buildings

Código do projeto | PTDC/CTM-REF/4304/2020

Objetivos e Prioridades| Consolidação e o reforço do Sistema Científico e Tecnológico Nacional

Região de intervenção | Norte | Centro

Instituição Proponente | UNIVERSIDADE DE TRÁS-OS-MONTES E ALTO DOURO

Instituição Participante | REQUIMTE – REDE DE QUÍMICA E TECNOLOGIA – ASSOCIAÇÃO | UNIVERSIDADE DA BEIRA INTERIOR | UNIVERSIDADE DE AVEIRO | UNIVERSIDADE DO MINHO

Data de início | 29 de Março de 2021

Data de conclusão | 28 de Março de 2024

Custo total elegível | 249.285,88 €

Custo total elegível UTAD | 66.875,00 €

Resumo |

Aesthetic colored solar-powered glass- or plastic-made dynamic devices will be proposed targeting applications in smart windows of zero-energy buildings (ZEBs) of future sustainable cities. Luminescent electrochromic and thermotropic devices (ECDs and TTDs, respectively) enabling efficient control of sunlight (visible radiation) and solar heat (nearinfrared (NIR) radiation) will be investigated. Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) with visible-to-NIR emission will be also developed. In the ECDs the electrolyte will be sandwiched between amorphous tungsten oxide (a-WO3) and nickel oxide (NiO) layers, in combination with external conducting oxides transparent in the visible and NIR regions (indium zinc oxide (IZO)). In the TTDs the active layer will be sandwiched between plain glass/plastic substrates. Electrolytes with high transparency and high ionic conductivity (Class II polymer/silica hybrids, ionosilicas, and silk-based films, and silicon dots/ionic liquid (IL) nanofluids) will be synthesized using eco-friendly, fast, simple and cheap processes (sol-gel chemistry and water-based routes). The electrolytes will be doped with pairs of different lanthanide (Ln3+) ions introduced as complexes or complex anions with high quantum efficiency: one Ln3+ ion will emit in the visible region (red, blue or green color), and the other will emit in the visible and NIR regions. The samples will be also doped with ILs with/without TT behavior. UV harvesting ability will be sought in all the electrolytes. Commercial photovoltaic (PV) cells will be coupled to LSCs to power the ECDs, yielding photo-electrochromic devices (PECDs). Integrated self-powered LSC-PECD-TTD prototypes will be fabricated. Upon proof-of-concept the lanthanide complexes will be replaced by natural pigments extracted from plants.

The rational of SOLPOWINS is to include the new technology introduced in the window façades of ZEBs. Two FCT projects (LUMECD, ended 31-12-2019, and PORPLANTSURF, ongoing) will give strong feedback to SOLPOWINS, delivering luminescent ECDs with enhanced electro-optical behavior, and superhydrophobic coatings inspired in the surface of plant leaves of Northern Portugal, respectively. The latter feature will endow the smart windows with self-cleaning and icephobic properties.

This project provides a solution to address Goal 11 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. It will hopefully help to achieve a more sustainable energy future in the cities, the construction of more appealing architectural building façades, and a better lifestyle (glare control, enhanced indoors thermal/visual comfort, and better outdoors view).

The four senior members of this consortium are all dynamic, creative and prolific academics with a very solid expertise on various topics of materials science relevant to the project. Three younger academics and seven post-PhD fellow researchers, enthusiastic and very active, plus one young PhD fellow (thesis defense by the end of 2020), will guarantee the success of the work. Two scientific jobs will be created in the framework of the project: one contract for a PhD researcher and one MSc grant.