Transparent Aerogel Window

Novel monolithic transparent aerogel for energy efficient window products



Incorporating a novel, transparent monolithic aerogel into insulated glass units (IGUs) for windows and building enclosures will provide the equivalent thermal performance of a triple-pane IGU with the weight and dimensions of the standard, double pane window. Early indications using a simulation software proposed a 37.5% energy efficiency cost reduction compared to a traditional double pane IGU. The minimum scale necessary to be tested is 14-inch by 20-inch within the United States industry standard of a 1-inch frame.

There are two technical hurdles that must be achieved to pass the feasibility criterion. The first technical objective is to demonstrate that a novel monolithic transparent aerogel can be scaled to the minimum window size for testing using an ambient drying technique. The majority of aerogels are either translucent or opaque, are brittle, and for the majority of the industry, has required capital-intensive equipment. For the technology to reach commercial potential, improvements on the formulation and process must be met to reduce costs, optimize optical transparency, and durability. The second technical objective is glazing the transparent monolithic aerogel in between two panes of glass with a space for inert argon gas.



Commercial Opportunity

Figure 1. Addressable Market Diagram in the United States Window Industry

The size of the overall architectural glass market and subsegments are shown in Figure 1. The segment addressable market

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The Innovation

The monolithic transparent aerogel technology, developed by Dr. Massimo Bertino at Virginia Commonwealth University, is based on two inventions; both provisionally patented by Virginia Commonwealth University: an ambient-drying method of

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Technical Discussion and R&D Plan

The aerogel product is devised of a transparent, monolithic aerogel integrated into an insulated glazing unit is designed to perform with the energy efficiency of a triple-pane window, but with

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Rights and Permissions

Energy Star

“Energy Efficient Products.” EPA-DOE. Energy Star,


“Overview of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan.” Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. New York City Mayor’s Office, 31 Oct. 2014.


Johnson, Robby. “UB Researchers’ Manufacturing Innovation Recognized by NASA.” The State University of New York, 24 Oct. 2018.


“SMART WINDOWS MATERIALS MARKETS: 2017 – 2026.” n-tech Research.7 Apr. 2017


Sbar, N., and M. Badding. “Progress toward Durable, Cost Effective Electrochromic Window Glazings.” ELSEVIER 56.3-4 (1999): 321–341. ScienceDirect.

Licensed Intellectual Property

VCU Invention Disclosure No. BER-19-069F, PCT/US20/39485

“Fabrication of Aerogels and Aerogel Composites by Ambient Pressure Sublimination of Frozen Solvents.”

VCU Invention Disclosure No. BER-16-030

“Fabrication of silica aerogels with custom shapes using freeze drying”