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Simultaneously enabling dynamic transparency control and electrical energy storage via electrochromism

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Abstract

Transparency-switchable electrochromic devices (ECDs) offer promising applications, including variable optical attenuators, optical shutters, optical filters, and smart windows for energy-efficient buildings. However, the operation of conventional ECDs requires external voltages to trigger coloration/de-coloration processes, which makes them far from being an optimal energy-efficient technology. Electrochromic batteries that incorporate electro-optical modulation and electrical energy storage functionalities in a single platform, are highly-promising in the realization of energy-efficient ECDs. Herein, we report a novel Zn–Prussian blue (PB) system for aqueous electrochromic batteries. By utilizing different dual-ion electrolytes with various cations (e.g. Zn2+–K+ and Zn2+–Al3+), the Zn–PB electrochromic batteries demonstrate excellent performance. We show that the K+–Zn2+ dual-ion electrolyte in the Zn–PB configuration endows a rapid self-bleaching time (2.8 s), a high optical contrast (83% at 632.8 nm), and fast switching times (8.4 s/3 s for the bleaching/coloration processes). Remarkably, the aqueous electrochromic battery exhibits a compelling energy retrieval of 35.7 mW h m−2, where only 47.5 mW h m−2 is consumed during the round-trip coloration–bleaching process. These findings may open a new direction for developing advanced net-zero energy-consumption ECDs.

Graphical abstract: Simultaneously enabling dynamic transparency control and electrical energy storage via electrochromism

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
27 Nov 2019
Accepted
02 Jan 2020
First published
02 Jan 2020

Nanoscale Horiz., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Communication

Simultaneously enabling dynamic transparency control and electrical energy storage via electrochromism

H. Li and A. Y. Elezzabi, Nanoscale Horiz., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9NH00751B

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