The following innovations will be the scope of new smart material development for greenhouse application:
- High transparency and insulation e.g. smart glass with new coatings, hydrophilic and self-cleaning surfaces, multi-layer plastic sheets with increased IR absorption, new bubble films, new high-performance plastic films combine high light transmission with high energy saving.
- Generation of diffuse light e.g. nanocoatings or microlenses incorporated in or on glasses, nano- and microparticles or new surface structures on plastic materials and new coatings combine wide geometrical light distribution with high light transmission. Organic based polymer materials to change their scattering properties upon exposure to specific triggers such as light or heat to accommodate local light/temperature characteristics.
- Switchable modification of the solar spectrum e.g. multi-layer plastics or liquid crystalline polymers capable of reversible reflection and transmission of incident NIR and outgoing thermal IR change energy balance of greenhouses, photochromic and/or thermochromics modify light intensity and quality depending on light or temperature levels, electrically switchable glasses modify light intensity and light scattering, light switching thin film PV, luminescent down- or up converting materials modify solar spectrum and create more light for photosynthesis, coloured temporary coatings, plastic films or screens modify light spectrum.
- Humidity control/filtering e.g. control of air humidity by new polymers or responsive organic membranes, filtering based on chemical structure, size, electrical charge by gas separating membranes, hydrogels and superabsorbent polymers control air humidity and reduce potentially evaporation.
- CO2 control/filtering e.g. control by new gas selective membranes.