Researchers develop safer electrochromic inks

phys.org | 8/16/2017 | Staff
sheenabeanna (Posted by) Level 3
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Anyone who has a rear-view mirror that automatically dims blue in reaction to annoying high-beam headlights glaring from behind has seen an electrochromic film in action.

Now, chemists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new method to more safely and, by extension, easily produce these shear films, which change their color with the help of a tiny electric current. This could make them available to many industries that have not been able to feasibly use them before.

Manufacturing - Films - Materials - Surface - Mirror

In manufacturing, electrochromic films are often coated onto other materials, such as the surface of a mirror, as inks. They are usually based in solvents that are flammable and have toxic fumes, making them unsuitable for many work settings that rely on printing and spraying machinery to apply colors.

Georgia Tech researchers have developed electrochromic film inks that are water-based, making them safer for diffuse application in settings where the kinds of safety precautions and protective equipment that are standard in handling volatile organic chemicals would be impractical.

People - Environments - John - Reynolds - Professor

"Where people print is not always in chemically safe environments," said John Reynolds, a professor in Georgia Tech's Schools of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Material Science and Engineering. So Reynolds and the study's first author Brian Schmatz, who came up with the water-based method, set out to make electrochromic film inks safer for everyday environments.

There were some hurdles to pulling it off. The finished product had to electrically operate comparable to films that are applied in an organic solvent, and also be water-resistant in spite of the water-based production. Schmatz's method also needed to be logistically and financially realistic for producers to implement.

Researchers - Details - Solution - Criteria - Journal

The researchers published details on their solution and how it has met the criteria in the journal ACS Central Science on August 16, 2017. Should the chemical process progress to production, the future may...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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