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Thursday, 15 December 2022

A new project funded to develop SMART-ER photoresponsive materials for energy saving

by Virginia Greco

The SMART-ER project has been granted funding by the Spanish Research Agency to produce photoresponsive materials based on a conceptually new paradigm. It will be led by the ICN2 Nanostructured Functional Materials Group (Nanosfun).

The Spanish Research Agency (Agencia Estatal De Investigación) will fund the SMART-ER project, led by Dr Cludio Roscini, senior researcher in the ICN2 Nanostructured Functional Materials Group (Nanosfun), through the "Strategic Projects oriented to the Ecological Transition and the Digital Transition" call. This adds to the many projects with direct industrial application (and in partnership with companies) that the Nansfun group is leading.

SMART-ER will design and develop photoactive materials self-responding to low-energy solar radiation. This will allow producing smart windows for energy saving in buildings. The results of this project are expected to have a huge scientific impact, as photoresponsive materials will be accomplished through a conceptually new paradigm, not involving photochromic dyes. Such materials have potential for application in other fields too, such as sportswear, transportation and ophthalmology.

These new photochromeless photoresponsive systems will be based on a technology developed and recently patented by the Nanosfun group. They will provide direct response to sunlight with efficient modulation of both visible and near-infrared radiation, enhanced photostability and tuneability, no residual colour in the non-activated state, as well as full scalability and cost effectiveness.

The "Strategic Projects oriented to the Ecological Transition and the Digital Transition" call of the Spanish State Research Agency (of the Ministry of Science and Research) aims to promote research, development and innovation to tackle the challenges related to a more sustainable future and a digital economy and society. Climate change mitigation and adaptation to it, sustainable use of water and other resources, pollution control, and protection of the biodiversity are some of the key components of the expected ecological transition.


The SMART-ER project is supported by grant TED2021-131709B-I00 funded by MCIN/AEI/ 10.13039/501100011033 and by the European Union NextGenerationEU/PRTR.