Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Novel polymers for multicolour electrochromic devices

EU researchers have created a broad colour palette of electrochromic polymers, materials that can be used for optical displays, mirror and window tinting, spacecraft thermal control or data storage that rely on electrical current to change their colour.
Novel polymers for multicolour electrochromic devices
Electrochromic materials reversibly change their colour when they are placed in a different electronic state either by absorbing or ejecting electrons. To date, the usefulness of multicolour electrochromic polymers has been limited by their low stability and poor processability.

Researchers within the NEMEDES (Novel conducting copolymers for multicolor electrochromic devices (ECDs)) project designed new polymers that cover the entire visible spectrum and can be used to improve operational characteristics (such as high contrast, faster switching times and better lifetime) and stability of electrochromic devices.

Team members synthesised novel monomers with structures combining donor-acceptor moieties. Monomers having a donor-acceptor-donor structure can control the bandgap of conducting polymers and thus optical properties. Researchers used these monomers to create polymers via chemical polymerisation and electropolymerisation. The electrochromic polymers were deposited on indium tin oxide electrodes.

The perfect stability and fast switching times of the newly developed electrochromic devices provide the opportunity to manufacture improved devices compared to the state of the art on a commercial scale. The single-layer electrochromic devices switched their colour from red to yellow during the reversible doping-dedoping process, whereas the two-layer devices demonstrated the ability to create virtually any colour.

Electrochromic technology can save substantial amounts of energy in buildings, cars or aircraft and is thus expected to grow robustly over the next decade. The novel electrochromic polymers covering the entire visible spectrum can accelerate widespread adoption of electrochromic devices.

Related information


Multicolour, electrochromic devices, electrochromic polymers, NEMEDES, conducting polymers
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