LixNa2−xW4O13 nanosheet for scalable electrochromic device


The printed electronics technology can be used to efficiently construct smart devices and is dependent on functional inks containing well-dispersed active materials. Two-dimensional (2D) materials are promising functional ink candidates due to their superior properties. However, the majority 2D materials can disperse well only in organic solvents or in surfactant-assisted water solutions, which limits their applications. Herein, we report a lithium (Li)-ion exchange method to improve the dispersity of the Na2W4O13 nanosheets in pure water. The Li-ion-exchanged Na2W4O13 (LixNa2−xW4O13) nanosheets show highly stable dispersity in water with a zeta potential of −55 mV. Moreover, this aqueous ink can be sprayed on various substrates to obtain a uniform LixNa2−xW4O13 nanosheet film, exhibiting an excellent electrochromic performance. A complementary electrochromic device containing a LixNa2−xW4O13 nanosheet film as an electrochromic layer and Prussian white (PW) as an ion storage layer exhibits a large optical modulation of 75% at 700 nm, a fast switching response of less than 2 s, and outstanding cyclic stability. This Na2W4O13-based aqueous ink exhibits considerable potential for fabricating large-scale and flexible electrochromic devices, which would meet the practical application requirements.

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This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11874036, 51872101, 51672097, 51972124, and 51902115), the National Program for Support of Top-notch Young Professionals, the Program for HUST Academic Frontier Youth Team, the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (HUST: 2017KFXKJC001 and 2018KFYXKJC025), the Guangdong Province Key Area R&D Program (No. 2019B010940001), the Local Innovative and Research Teams Project of Guangdong Pearl River Talents Program (No. 2017BT01N111), and Basic Research Project of Shenzhen, China (No. JCYJ20170412171430026). We wish to thank the facility support from the Center for Nanoscale Characterization & Devices, WNLO of HUST and the Analytical and Testing Center of HUST.

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Correspondence to Jia Li or Jun Zhou.

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Jia Li obtained his Ph.D. degree from Tsinghua University in 2009. Then he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin, Germany from 2009 to 2010. He is currently an associate professor of Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School, Tsinghua University. His research interest is applying first-principles methods to study the relationship between the structure and the performance of energy storage and conversion for two-dimensional materials.

Jun Zhou is a professor in Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics at Huazhong University of Science and Technology. He received his bachelor degree (2001) in materials physics and Ph.D. degree (2007) in materials physics and chemistry from the Sun Yat-sen University. He was a visiting student (2005–2006), a research scientist (2007–2009) in Georgia Institute of Technology. His recent research interest is energy harvesting materials and devices.

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Lu, Y., Yang, X., Jin, H. et al. LixNa2−xW4O13 nanosheet for scalable electrochromic device. Front. Optoelectron. (2020).

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  • printed electronics technology
  • two-dimensional material
  • ink
  • ion exchange
  • electrochromic device