Switchable liquid crystal (LC) composites are a unique and attractive class of functional materials due to their extensive use in various applications including smart and privacy windows. Demand for developing smart windows with good switchable performance has steadily increasing in the past decades due to their importance in energy saving. Herein, we present the use of novel and highly active switchable LC composite material—octadecanol-doped LC—prepared via a facile, low-cost, and scalable process, for thermally or electrically controlled transparency windows. A systematic study of the switchable behavior reveals the formation of a reversible molecular arrangement between the LC and the octadecanol, which allows control of the transparency through scattering modulation of the device by voltage or temperature. The devices fabricated by sandwiching the LC composite material between two ITO-covered glass slides present switchable performance with high potential for cost-effective utilization in various applications, such as light shutters, smart or privacy windows.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics