“Thin film optics and their applications in solar energy coatings: State-of-the-art, web-based simulation tools and demonstrations”


Thin film optics is a cornerstone in sustainable energy technologies, underpinning solar energy devices, sensors, IoT, displays, building and construction materials (notably windows and façades) and many more. Thin film optics is usually taught at an advanced level in physics and engineering undergraduate courses, but it is often demonstrated on a level limited to either paper-and-pen problem solving, or simulations based on proprietary software and homemade programs inhibiting wider spread. Taking advantage of open source tools that can run on cloud servers over web browsers without the need of installation of a programming environment, it is today possible to address complex, and arguably more relevant, problems without computational restrictions. In this workshop, we will introduce the Jupyter software environment as a web-based simulation tool for materials optics and transparent conducting oxides that can be used by undergraduate, graduate, and also professional researchers. We will then change focus toward a particular case, chromogenic technologies, which are energy-saving technologies that enable the control of radiation transmitted through a device. These technologies can significantly reduce energy use for cooling, air conditioning, and illumination in buildings when applied on windows, but also find application in other devices such as light-modulating pixels in displays. Therefore, such technologies are expected to become more and more present in sustainable-energy systems. Among the various chromogenic technologies, electrochromic, photochromic, and thermochromic materials are of particular importance for window technology, which will be the focus area in this workshop. Fundamental principles relevant to chromogenic technology will be explained followed by an overview of device design, materials, and a description of the physical phenomenon underpinning the optical switching mechanism. Then, we will focus on key parameters to evaluate chromogenic functionality. Finally, we will present hands-on examples (devices and setups) and give an outlook on future prospects and challenges in electrochromics, photochromics and thermochromics.


Time-line:   14:00 – 17:00

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Knossos Royal Hotel/Conference venue

  • Welcome and introduction. Time 10’. (Dr. J. Montero)


  • Thin film optics. Time: 45’ .
    • Introduction (Oral presentation-Prof. L. Österlund).
    • Jupyter environment for the simulation of optical properties of thin films. (Virtual laboratory-Dr. J. Montero).


  • Transparent conductor optics. Time: 45’.
    • Theory (oral presentation-Prof. Österlund/Dr. J. Montero).
    • Virtual Laboratory. Jupyter environment for the simulation of optical properties of transparent conductors. (Virtual laboratory-Dr. J. Montero).
    • (Dr. J. Montero).


  • Chromogenic technologies. From basics to state of the art. Time: 45’
    • Basics (oral presentation- Dr. I. Bayrak-Pehlivan/Dr.J. Montero).
    • State-of-the-art (oral presentation Dr. I. Bayrak-Pehlivan/Dr.J. Montero).
    • (Hands-on Dr. I. Bayrak-Pehlivan/Dr.J. Montero).


  • Conclusions and wrap-up. Time 15’. (Dr. J. Montero).


Lars Österlund is Professor in Solid State Physics at Uppsala University, Sweden. He obtained his PhD in 1997 at Chalmers University of Technology, under supervision of Bengt Kasemo, performing fundamental experimental surface science studies of photo-induced surface reactions on single crystal surfaces. He was postdoc at Aarhus University 1997 – 2000 in Flemming Besenbacher’s group conducting fundamental studies of adsorbate interactions with metal and oxide surfaces using STM. Österlund’s group current research focuses on fundamental surface science studies on photon and electron stimulated reactions in heterogeneous catalysis, chromogenic materials, transparent conducting oxides, nanopatterning and functional multilayer structures, and applied research in photocatalysis, solid state gas sensors, self-cleaning and antimicrobial surfaces, solid-state gas sensors, and their applications in building and display technology, air and water treatment, and medical technology. He has published 207 peer-reviewed scientific articles, book chapters and books, and has been main supervisor of 11 PhD students. His research has spun off two companies.

lars österlund

Ilknur Bayrak Pehlivan is Associate Professor and Senior Researcher in Solid State Physics at Uppsala University, Sweden. She obtained her PhD in Engineering Physics with specialization in Solid State Physics at Uppsala University under supervision of C.G. Granqvist and G. A. Niklasson. Her thesis was a study of the functionalization of polymer electrolytes for electrochromic windows (2013). She was awarded the Ångström Materials Academy Innovation based on her PhD studies on electrochromic devices with nanoparticle added-polymer electrolytes. Previously, she worked as development engineer at ChromoGenics AB, which produces dynamic glass with controllable heat-and light transmission (2013-2015). Since the end of her parental leave (2016), she now continues her research on electrochromism, solar water splitting systems, electrocatalytic ammonia synthesis and ammonia oxidation, and develops high entropy electrocatalysts. I.B.P. has published 34 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals.


José Montero Amenedo is Senior Researcher at Div. Solid State Physics at Uppsala University. J. M. holds a BSc and MSc in Physics from Salamanca University (Spain) and a MSc and PhD in Physics from Complutense University of Madrid (Spain). J.M. has previously worked at different energy-related institutes – CIEMAT (Spain) and (Norway). J.M.’s research interest comprises transparent conducting oxides, photocatalytic materials and chromogenic materials (electrochromic, thermochromic and photochromic), among others. In particular, during 2020 J.M. and collaborators described the photochromic mechanism in a group of mixed anion compounds known as oxyhydrides. J.M. is co-author of more than 30 peer-review international publications and has submitted two patents.