Researchers are working on smart windows which would block the out heat when it's hot outside.
Xuhong Guo, Kaimin Chen, Yanfeng Gao and colleagues explained that researchers are pursuing smart windows that can respond to a variety of cues, including electricity, gas, light and heat. Those that are sensitive to heat are particularly useful for cutting down on energy use-when it gets hot outside, the windows turn an opaque white to block unwanted heat from entering a building while still allowing light to pass. They become transparent again as temperatures drop.
However, the current methods for making these windows use jelly-like materials called hydrogels that swell in the heat, which hurts performance.
The findings are reported in ACS' journal Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research.