Scientists Invent Transparent Windows Made out of Wood

When turning a tree into a window isn't magic.

8. 21. 16 by Andy Palma
University of Maryland Nanocenter
Image by University of Maryland Nanocenter

Scientists have introduced us to a variety of revolutionary technologies in developing windows — windows made from rubbery polymer, solar panel transparent windows, and smart windows of all sorts — we might think we’ve seen it all.

But a team of researchers in the University of Maryland (UMD), led by materials scientist Liangbing Hu, has something new to offer: a see-through window made out of wood.

Source: University of Maryland Energy Research Center

The see-through-wood window — compared to glass — is cooler (according to its creators), stronger, as it is less likely to break or shatter, distributes light evenly preventing glare, and is a better insulator against heat.

The method for creating the transparent wood starts with bleaching the wood to remove lignin — a component in the wood that gives it the color brown, but also, its resilience. In order to restore its strength, the wood is then soaked in clear epoxy. The result is a very hard and see-through wood.

Advertisement

The next challenge for the scientists is to upsize the material to a proper-sized window, but Tian Li, postdoctoral researcher at UMD said in a statement that there is no reason the approach couldn’t be scaled up to create a proper-sized window, as long as the new-age glazier has a big enough container to treat the material.


Care about supporting clean energy adoption? Find out how much money (and planet!) you could save by switching to solar power at UnderstandSolar.com. By signing up through this link, Futurism.com may receive a small commission.

Share This Article

Keep up.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep in touch with the subjects shaping our future.
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement and Privacy Policy

Advertisement

Copyright ©, Camden Media Inc All Rights Reserved. See our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Data Use Policy. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Futurism. Fonts by Typekit and Monotype.