A preparation and characterization of thin film vanadium oxide for use as a transparent ion storage layer/counter-electrode in organic ECDs is reported. A cathodic polymer film, Poly[3,3-dimethyle-3,4-dihydro-2H-thieno[3,4-b][1,4]dioxepine] (PProDOT-Me2) was used as the electrochromic material. Counter-electrodes were prepared using a sol-gel method and deposited using electrophoresis. Indium Tin oxide (I TO) glass was used as an electrically conductive and transparent substrate. This paper focuses on optimized characteristics complimentary to a PProDOT-Me2 based electrochromic thin film. Gels of vanadium oxide were created from V2O5 powder mixed with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and deionized water. Thin films were deposited onto a substrate submerged in the solution and subjected to cyclic voltammetry. Deposition parameters were varied and their effect on counter electrode characteristics investigated. The thin film exhibited a capacitance curve similar to the PProDOT-Me2 based EC film while maintaining a transmittance greater than 60% indicating that V2O5 is a suitable material. The ensuing 1 inch x 1 inch smart window exhibits a change in transmittance of 60% and a lifetime of over 100,000 cycles at a switching speed of 1 second. Larger sized devices of six and twelve inches were successfully prepared and switched between the dark blue and transparent states in less than 15 seconds.
The preparation and characterization of a type of ECD which was based on a cathodic EC polymer film, Poly [3, 3-dimethyl-3, 4-dihydro-2H-thieno [3, 4-b][1, 4] dioxepine] (PProDOT-Me2) is reported. A typical device was constructed by sandwiching a gel electrolyte between a PProDOT-Me2 EC film deposited on Indium Tin oxide (ITO) coated glass and a counter electrode which was also ITO glass coated by a Vanadium oxide (V2O5) thin film. The ECD has been characterized. Device contrast ratio, measured as Ε%T, was equal to 60%, and ranged from 2% to 62% between the colored and bleached state measured at 580 nm. A lifetime of over 100,000 cycles between the fully oxidized and fully reduced state has been achieved with only 6% change in the transmittance. The switching speed of a 2.5cm x 2.5cm ECD could be reached in 1 second between the bleached and colored state. The device also has a long open circuit memory. It can remain in the bleached or colored state without being energized for 30 days, and the change in transmittance is less than 6% in colored state. The cyclic voltammetry method was used to detect the moisture content in the gel electrolyte. ECDs of various dimensions were also prepared, 2.5cm x 2.5cm, 7.5cm x 7.5cm, 15cm x 15cm and 30cm x 30cm. The largest scale EC polymer device achieved is 30cm x 30cm. Low sheet resistance ITO glass and a thin-film silver deposition frame were applied to overcome the electric potential drop across the ITO glass surface.
The synthesis, characterization and polymerization of two new electrochromic (EC) monomers based on 3, 4-alkylenedioxythiophene are reported. One is 3, 4-bis-(2, 2, 2-trifluoro-ethoxy)-thiophene which contains electron withdrawing group. Another is 6, 6-dimethy-6, 7-dihydro-5H-4, 8-dioxa-2-thia-6-sila-azulene which contains an electron donating group. Primary experiment results show that the new monomers have potential to form EC materials with new colors after polymerization. Color mixing of two EC polymers with blue and red color was studied. The principle of subtractive color mixing for achieving new color EC materials is also demonstrated.