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A Clear, Strong, and Thermally Insulated Transparent Wood for Energy Efficient Windows


Ruiyu Mi
Tian Li
Daniel Dalgo
Chaoji Chen
Yudi Kuang
Shuaiming He
Xinpeng Zhao
Weiqi Xie
Wentao Gan
Jelena Srebric
Ronggui Yang
Liangbing Hu



Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Forest Products Laboratory


Advanced Functional Materials


The energy used for regulating building temperatures accounts for 14% of the primary energy consumed in the U.S. One-quarter of this energy is leaked through ineffcient glass windows in cold weather. The development of transparent composites could potentially provide affordable window materials with enhanced energy efficiency. Transparent wood as a promising material has presented desirable performances in thermal and light management. In this work, the performance of transparent wood is optimized toward an energy efficient window material that possesses the following attributes: 1) high optical transmittance (≈91%), comparable to that of glass; 2) high clarity with low haze (≈15%); 3) high toughness (3.03 MJ m-3) that is 3 orders of magnitude higher than standard glass (0.003 MJ m-3); 4) low thermal conductivity (0.19 W m-1 K-1) that is more than 5 times lower than that of glass. Additionally, the transparent wood is a sustainable material, with low carbon emissions and scaling capabilities due to its compatibility with industry-adopted rotary cutting methods. The scalable, high clarity, transparent wood demonstrated in current work can potentially be employed as energy effcient and sustainable windows for signifcant environmental and economic benefts.


Mi, Ruiyu; Li, Tian; Dalgo, Daniel; Chen, Chaoji; Kuang, Yudi; He, Shuaiming; Zhao, Xinpeng; Xie, Weiqi; Gan, Wentao; Zhu, Junyong; Srebric, Jelena; Yang, Ronggui; Hu, Liangbing. 2020. A clear, strong, and thermally insulated transparent wood for energy efficient windows. Advanced Functional Materials. 30(1): 1907511.


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