Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Engineered Eclipse

PostedAugust 9, 2018

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LEDE: Engineers are creating a new type of window, that’s adjustable…but not in the way you might think.

Randy Atkins: With the push of a button, you might soon be able to block out precise amounts of sunlight.  Mike McGehee, an engineer at Stanford University, has created a system that deposits charged metals within glass panes that spread out and make a window darker.

Mike McGehee: We have a transparent electrode…and…a polymer gel with metal ions in it and if we apply a voltage to the electrode, we can…form a thin form of metal, which is very effective at blocking light.

Randy Atkins: McGehee says a window with the metals would be very durable, and could be powered by...

Mike McGehee: …either a battery or could just be connected to the electrical lines in a home or in a car or in an airplane

Randy Atkins:  McGehee says this technology could also be put in sunglasses that tint to your preferred shade.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.