The Photothermal Effects of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles on Energy Efficient Windows

Project: Research project

Project Details


Building heating, ventilation, and air conditioning accounted for 14 percent of primary energy consumption in the United States in 2013 according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Windows take a large fraction of the building surface and are a major source of heat energy loss. The current technologies rely upon double-panes with an insulating gas in between to reduce energy consumption. The single-pane windows are more desirable for reasons including lighter weight, straightforward manufacturing, easy installation and maintenance, and less materials needed. The objective of this research aims to reduce heat transfer through single panes by lowering the temperature difference between the glass inner surface and inside of the room. This is achieved by applying a thin coating of iron oxide nanoparticles onto the glass surface to generate heat through sunlight or artificial light. The single-pane window coated with nanoparticle would greatly lower the energy consumption in buildings and homes, and revolutionize the current window technology. The research team will recruit underrepresented students to participate in this multidisciplinary project.

The goal of the project is to understand the photonic physics that dictates the photothermal effect of nanoparticles under a wide spectrum of light and its effects on thermal performance for energy efficient window technology. This study will provide a fundamental base on light to heat conversion for optimization of the photothermal effect. Factors governing the photothermal effect will be investigated in terms of the nanoparticle size, concentration and dispersion, morphology, and surface properties. The relationship between photothermal heating on the optical and thermal properties of windowpanes coated with nanoparticles will be established through both computational simulation and physical experiments by varying the air temperature, wavelength of irradiation, irradiation power, and nanoparticle concentrations for optimum building energy efficiency.

Effective start/end date8/1/167/31/21


  • National Science Foundation: $349,948.00


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