Hydrothermal Synthesis of VO2 Polymorphs: Advantages, Challenges and Prospects for the Application of Energy Efficient Smart Windows

Ming Li, Shlomo Magdassi, Yanfeng Gao, Yi Long*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

270 Scopus citations


Vanadium dioxide (VO2) is a widely studied inorganic phase change material, which has a reversible phase transition from semiconducting monoclinic to metallic rutile phase at a critical temperature of τc ≈ 68 °C. The abrupt decrease of infrared transmittance in the metallic phase makes VO2 a potential candidate for thermochromic energy efficient windows to cut down building energy consumption. However, there are three long-standing issues that hindered its application in energy efficient windows: high τc, low luminous transmittance (Tlum), and undesirable solar modulation ability (ΔTsol). Many approaches, including nano-thermochromism, porous films, biomimetic surface reconstruction, gridded structures, antireflective overcoatings, etc, have been proposed to tackle these issues. The first approach—nano-thermochromism—which is to integrate VO2 nanoparticles in a transparent matrix, outperforms the rest; while the thermochromic performance is determined by particle size, stoichiometry, and crystallinity. A hydrothermal method is the most common method to fabricate high-quality VO2 nanoparticles, and has its own advantages of large-scale synthesis and precise phase control of VO2. This Review focuses on hydrothermal synthesis, physical properties of VO2 polymorphs, and their transformation to thermochromic VO2(M), and discusses the advantages, challenges, and prospects of VO2(M) in energy-efficient smart windows application.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1701147
Issue number36
StatePublished - 27 Sep 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • energy efficient
  • hydrothermal
  • smart windows
  • thermochromism
  • vanadium dioxide


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