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New material boosts IQ of smart windows


Narrator:       This is Science Today. There's a new material that will boost the IQ of smart windows. Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have designed a thin coating of nanocrystals that's embedded in glass, which offers selective control over visible light and heat-producing near-infrared light, so windows can maximize energy savings and comfort in a wide range of climates. Chemist Delia Milliron, who led this research, says the most benefit for energy efficiency will probably come from homes.

Milliron:        Because that's where you can take most advantage of the solar heat gain coming from the sun. Their properties, the way they interact with the sunlight coming through the window, can be changed in response to what's going on outside, whether it's sunny or cloudy or hot or cold. Also talked to people who might want to this in greenhouses, where it's very important to keep the temperature in a narrow range, but you really want all of the light for photosynthesis of the plants inside. So, I think there are a number of other possibilities for this technology.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.