Nanostructured Coatings on Glazing for Active Solar Facades

Thin films on glazing play an important role in the design of solar energy conversion systems as thermal collectors or photovoltaic panels. Antireflective coatings based on porous silicon dioxide are well established in the field of solar collector glazing. Regarding architectural integration of thermal collectors, colored glass panes based on multilayer interference stacks of dielectric thin films offer a smart alternative to the coloration of the absorber sheets. Materials with tunable refractive index are highly desirable in such coatings in order to give access to optimised designs. Thin films of silicon titanium mixed oxides TixSi1-xO2 have been deposited in a particle free atmosphere by a sol-gel dip-coating process. Optical properties of thin films have been characterized by spectrophotometry and spectral ellipsometry. A nanocomposite structure has been evidenced by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). As low tunable refractive index material, novel nanocomposite thin films based on the elements Mg, F, Si and O have been deposited. Transparent and homogenous thin layers were achieved with variable Mg:Si molar ratios. Surprisingly low refractive index values have been found, reaching desired values for anti- reflective applications. Broad spectral transmittance maxima are observed with values up to 99.8 %. The nanostructure of quaternary Mg-F-Si-O thin films has been investigated by TEM, showing evidence of embedded crystalline nanoparticles. In comparison to existing anti- reflective materials, the novel quaternary thin films might be highly interesting regarding improvement of hardness and improved aging stability with respect to pores filling by hydrocarbons. Intermediate size A4 colored glazing based on TixSi1-xO2 films have been produced exhibiting 14.0 and 12.6 % visible reflectance and only small energy losses (1.4 and 3.4 % with respect to the uncoated substrate) showing the high potential of such materials for colored solar facades. A real-sized prototype of colored thermal solar collector has been realized, providing a convincing demonstration device.

Published in:
CISBAT 2007, 527-532
Presented at:
CISBAT 2007, Lausanne, 4-5 September 2007
Lausanne, EPFL

 Record created 2007-10-22, last modified 2018-03-17

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