Recently, researchers spare no efforts to fabricate desirable vanadium dioxide (VO2) film which provides simultaneously high luminous transmittance and outstanding solar modulation ability, yet progress towards the optimization of one aspect always comes at the expense of the other. Our research devotes to finding a reproducible economic solution-processed strategy for fabricating VO2-SiO2 composite films, with the aim of boosting the performance of both aspects. Compare to VO2 film, an improvement of 18.9% (from 29.6% to 48.5%) in the luminous transmittance as well as an increase of 6.0% (from 9.7% to 15.7%) in solar modulation efficiency is achieved when the molar ratio of Si/V attains 0.8. Based on the effective medium theory, we simulate the optical spectra of the composite films and the best thermochromic property is obtained when the filling factor attains 0.5, which is consistent with the experimental results. Meanwhile, the improvement of chemical stability for the composite film against oxidation has been confirmed. Tungsten is introduced to reduce the phase transition temperature to the ambient temperature, while maintain the thermochromism required for application as smart window. Our research set forth a new avenue in promoting practical applications of VO2-based thermochromic fenestration.
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