Nanostructured Materials



Pascal Buskens (1980) studied chemistry at RWTH Aachen University, and received his PhD for research on the reaction mechanism and the development of novel catalyst systems for a C-C coupling reaction yielding allylic amines, part of which he performed at Oxford University. In 2006, he started working for DSM, first as project manager and later as R&D program manager in the functional coatings group. During this time, Pascal and his team successfully developed and commercialized antireflective coatings for glass covers of solar panels, which improve transmission of sunlight into the panel and result in an increased power output. In 2011, Pascal started working at TNO – The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, where he is currently principal scientist. In 2016, he received his habilitation from RWTH Aachen University for his research and teaching activities in the field of ‘Nanostructured Optical Materials’. Since 2017, he combines his work at TNO with a guest professorship at Hasselt University in the Department of Chemistry. His current research interests are nanostructured optical coatings for energy efficient windows and solar panels, and nanomaterials and coatings for sunlight-powered chemical processes.


Single Layer, Solution Processed Thermochromic Coatings for Architectural Glazing

Vanadium dioxide displays a structural phase transition (SPT) from monoclinic VO2 (M) to rutile VO2 (R) at 68°C, which is reversible. This SPT is accompanied by a metal-insulator transition, which makes this material interesting for application in energy efficient windows. VO2 (M) is an insulator and transmits solar infrared (s-IR) radiation, VO2 (R) is metallic and reflects and/or absorbs s-IR light. For application in energy efficient windows, the switching temperature needs to be lowered from 68°C to 15-25°C, which is typically achieved by doping with metal ions. To introduce thermochromic VO2 in windows, we developed a proprietary solution processed single layer coating, which is applied to the inner side of the outer glass pane of an insulating glass unit. Based on the temperature of the outer glass pane, the resulting window switches from a s-IR transmissive to a blocking state and vice versa. This contributes to a reduction in energy consumption and costs for heating and cooling of buildings in intermediate climates. Windows comprising our thermochromic coating are optimized to reduce energy consumption in moderate climates with cold winters and warm summers, such as in the Netherlands, which can lead to additional energy and cost savings of up to 8% and 23.70 € per m² per year when compared to state of the art HR++ windows. We are currently setting up a pilot production line to produce coated glass plates up to a size of 1 m², which is expected to be operational May 2023. Furthermore, we established a testing facility to monitor the performance of thermochromic windows in real-life environment (test house), in which we currently already test thermochromic windows with a laminated outboard, comprising thermochromic PVB interlayers instead of a thermochromic coating.