Hierarchically Patterned Self-Cleaning Polymer Composites for Daytime Radiative Cooling

Kai Zhou, Xiao Yan, Seung J. Oh, Gabriela Padilla-Rivera, Hyunjung A. Kim, Donald M. Cropek, Nenad Miljkovic, Lili Cai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Passive daytime radiative cooling (PDRC) has the potential to reduce energy demand and mitigate global warming. However, surface contamination from dust and bacterial buildup limits practical PDRC applications. Here, we develop a hierarchically patterned nanoporous composite (HPNC) using a facile template-molding fabrication method to integrate PDRC materials with self-cleaning and antibacterial functions. The HPNC design decouples multifunctional control into different characteristic length scales that can be optimized simultaneously. The nanoporous polymer matrix embedded with tunable fillers enables 7.8 and 4.4 °C temperature reduction for outdoor personal and building cooling, respectively, under intense solar irradiance. Meanwhile, a microscale pillar array pattern integrated into the HPNC enables superhydrophobicity with self-cleaning and antisoiling functions to mitigate surface contamination. Moreover, the surface coating of photocatalytic agents can generate photoinduced antibacterial effects. The scalable fabrication and multifunctional capabilities of our HPNC design offer a promising solution for practical PDRC applications with minimal maintenance needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3669-3677
Number of pages9
JournalNano letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 10 2023


  • antibacterial textiles
  • daytime radiative cooling
  • personal thermal management
  • self-cleaning
  • superhydrophobic
  • water-repellent fabric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • General Materials Science


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