Oregon Patent of the Month – November 2023

Crown Electrokinetics Corp (Crown) is the name in smart glass technology. Creator of DynamicTint, their technology allows any glass surface to transition between clear and dark in seconds. Initially developed by Hewlett-Packard, Inc., this cutting-edge technology revolutionizes traditional window tinting and transforms standard window treatments.

Recently, Crown has been granted a patent in collaboration with the University of Cincinnati for their laminate technology which reduces diffraction of light from smart windows. The design is a laminate panel covered in electrokinetic pixels with separate layers of electrodes. The space between electrodes is filled with a colloidal dispersion with two colors. Altering the polarity of the charge causes the particle dispersion to adjust, leading to specific transmissive states. For instance, opaque particles spread evenly across the laminate to create a dark, light-blocking window.

By structuring the electrodes in a hexagonal pattern with evenly spaced rows and columns, diffraction is reduced relative to the pattern. This allows for a great deal of flexibility as the electrode pattern can be adapted to achieve different levels of diffraction.

This technology can be easily retrofitted into any existing window, reducing energy consumption and saving on both heating and cooling costs. Glass is a poor insulator. Improving insulation and controlling for light exposure means Crown’s DynamicTint is a sustainability-forward technology.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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