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Dimming Smart Windows any Time! NSYSU Team Received the Excellent Startup Award of the MOST From IP to IPO Project
Publish date : 2018-07-16
Using a mobile application, a person can change the transparency of windows at any time! Tsung-Hsien Lin, Distinguished Professor at the Department of Photonics at National Sun Yat-sen University, led the Liquid Crystal team comprising students who spent over a year to successfully develop a thin film that can be affixed to glass. Once the film is affixed to glass, the glass can be blurred, brightened, or darkened, and can be used for projection purposes any time by using a mobile application. The film can one day be applied to automobiles and office buildings. This invention was selected as the winner out of 166 innovative inventions and received the Excellent Startup Award of the From IP to IPO Project from the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Professor Lin explained that a normal transparent glass window gives people no sense of privacy. Additionally, people may get sunburned if they sit close to such a window in summer. To solve these problems, many people use a heat-blocking window film or install curtains. However, users are unable to freely adjust the privacy, lighting, and heat-blocking effects of glass under different conditions of time, weather, sunlight, temperature, or landscape. Therefore, the Liquid Crystal team successfully developed a multi-functional smart window that enables users to freely adjust the transparency of glass to a clear state, a dark but translucent state that can reduce heat and light and can be adjusted, and a hazed state that protects people’s privacy.

This product has various applications. For example, when it is used as an automotive glass, users can switch the window mode in the day to the dark state to reduce heat and glare and switch it to the transparent state at night for clear vision. When the product is applied to buildings, users can actively adjust the flux of light during the day and switch the window mode to the dark or frosted states at night for privacy. Moreover, the multi-functional smart window can be used as a projection screen to present high-quality images, enhancing the user experience of augmented reality.

Cheng-Chang Li and Heng-Yi Tseng, PhD students in the Department of Photonics, reported that the Liquid Crystal team participated in all the research and development, including designing the equipment, fabricating the prototype of the smart window, and continuously optimizing the product. Finally, the team transformed the smart window from a thick glass into a thin film that can be folded and rolled, so that the product is environmentally friendly and energy efficient and can be easily transported and installed. These changes reduced its cost substantially and enhanced its market competitiveness. The original and novel fabrication technologies developed by the team have five patents. Furthermore, these technologies have attracted attention from domestic and international manufacturers and firms. Some manufacturers have proposed a technical collaboration and firms have expressed their interest in investing in the product. This attention demonstrates that the team’s research and development has been widely recognized.

The Liquid Crystal team comprised Distinguished Professor Tsung-Hsien Lin, fourth- and first-year PhD students Cheng-Chang Li and Heng-Yi Tseng, and second-year Master’s students Zheng-Zhi Huang and Yung-Yuan Lin at the Department of Photonics at National Sun Yat-sen University.
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