VO2 thin films via gradient W doping

a drastic improvement of passive camouflage W-VO2 thin films.

Enhanced passive thermal stealth properties of VO2 thin films via gradient W doping

MAY 9, 2021

Hyuk Jin Kim, Young Hwan Choi, Dongkyu Lee, In Hak Lee, Byoung Ki Choi, Soo-Hyon Phark, Young Jun Chang
Applied Surface Science Volume 561, 150056 (2021)


Thermal stealth and camouflage have been intensively studied for blending objects with their surroundings against remote thermal image detection. Adaptive control of infrared emissivity has been explored extensively as a promising way of thermal stealth, but it still requires an additional feedback control. Passive modulation of emissivity, however, has been remained as a great challenge which requires a precise engineering of emissivity over wide temperature range. Here, we report a drastic improvement of passive camouflage thin films capable of concealing thermal objects at near room temperature without any feedback control, which consists of a vanadium dioxide (VO2) layer with gradient tungsten (W) concentration. The gradient W-doping widens the metal-insulator transition width, accomplishing self-adaptive thermal stealth with a smooth change of emissivity. Our simple approach, applicable to other similar thermal camouflage materials for improving their passive cloaking, will find wide applications, such as passive thermal camouflage, urban energy-saving smart windows, and improved infrared sensors.