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Science. 2019 May 24;364(6442):760-763. doi: 10.1126/science.aau9101.

A radiative cooling structural material.

Author information

1
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309, USA.
3
Materials Sciences and Engineering Program, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309, USA.
4
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.
5
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Merced, Merced, CA 95340, USA.
6
School of Energy and Power Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, P.R. China.
7
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309, USA. binghu@umd.edu xiaobo.yin@colorado.edu.
8
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA. binghu@umd.edu xiaobo.yin@colorado.edu.

Abstract

Reducing human reliance on energy-inefficient cooling methods such as air conditioning would have a large impact on the global energy landscape. By a process of complete delignification and densification of wood, we developed a structural material with a mechanical strength of 404.3 megapascals, more than eight times that of natural wood. The cellulose nanofibers in our engineered material backscatter solar radiation and emit strongly in mid-infrared wavelengths, resulting in continuous subambient cooling during both day and night. We model the potential impact of our cooling wood and find energy savings between 20 and 60%, which is most pronounced in hot and dry climates.

PMID:
31123132
DOI:
10.1126/science.aau9101

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