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Fast-Switching Vis–IR Electrochromic Covalent Organic Frameworks

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posted on 16.03.2021, 18:10 authored by Derya Bessinger, Katharina Muggli, Michael Beetz, Florian Auras, Thomas Bein
Electrochromic coatings are promising for applications in smart windows or energy-efficient optical displays. However, classical inorganic electrochromic materials such as WO3 suffer from low coloration efficiency and slow switching speed. We have developed highly efficient and fast-switching electrochromic thin films based on fully organic, porous covalent organic frameworks (COFs). The low band gap COFs have strong vis–NIR absorption bands in the neutral state, which shift significantly upon electrochemical oxidation. Fully reversible absorption changes by close to 3 OD can be triggered at low operating voltages and low charge per unit area. Our champion material reaches an electrochromic coloration efficiency of 858 cm2 C–1 at 880 nm and retains >95% of its electrochromic response over 100 oxidation/reduction cycles. Furthermore, the electrochromic switching is extremely fast with response times below 0.4 s for the oxidation and around 0.2 s for the reduction, outperforming previous COFs by at least an order of magnitude and rendering these materials some of the fastest-switching frameworks to date. This combination of high coloration efficiency and very fast switching reveals intriguing opportunities for applications of porous organic electrochromic materials.