Metamaterial Window Glass for Improved Energy Efficiency

Physical Sciences : Materials and Compounds

Available for licensing


  • John Howell, Ph.D. , Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Alex Heltzel , University of Texas at Austin
  • Tyler Mann , University of Texas at Austin

Background/unmet need

Current state-of-the-art window glass technology manages solar and thermal radiation with low-emissivity coatings designed to transmit visible wavelengths and efficiently reflect near- and far-infrared energy. This strategy rejects unwanted solar energy during the summer and retains desired interior thermal energy in the winter, but also rejects desired solar energy during the winter. Metamaterial winter glass accesses that portion of the spectrum during cold periods to enhance overall sustainability of the structure.

Invention Description

Metamaterial (MTM) glass uses carefully designed nanopatterned layers on glass to selectively access near-infrared energy, generating a plasmonic coupling effect which leads to absorption of energy that can reduce the heating load of structures in cold climates.


  • Enhanced energy efficiency during cold periods by absorbing near-infrared energy
  • Six to twelve percent reduction in overall heating demand


  • Combined nanostructured layers of silver and dielectric materials create a smart window coating for solar energy management.
  • Sandwiched film structure with a base, an intermediate layer of transparent dielectric, and surface layer of patterned silver
  • Pattern dimensions designed to access desired wavelength spectrum

Market potential/applications

Members of the construction industry involved in window and glass manufacturing, assembly and distribution. 

IP Status

  • 1 U.S. patent application filed