Three-Dimensional Printable Nanoporous Polymer Matrix Composites for Daytime Radiative Cooling

Kai Zhou, Wei Li, Bijal Bankim Patel, Ran Tao, Yilong Chang, Shanhui Fan, Ying Diao, Lili Cai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Daytime radiative cooling presents an exciting new strategy for combating global warming, because it can passively cool buildings by reflecting sunlight and utilizing the infrared atmospheric window to eject heat into outer space. Recent progress with novel material designs showed promising subambient cooling performance under direct sunlight. However, large-scale implementation of radiative cooling technologies is still limited by the high-cost and complex fabrication. Here, we develop a nanoporous polymer matrix composite (PMC) to enable rapid production and cost reduction using commercially available polymer processing techniques, such as molding, extrusion, and 3D printing. With a high solar reflectance of 96.2% and infrared emissivity > 90%, the nanoporous PMC achieved a subambient temperature drop of 6.1 °C and cooling power of 85 W/m2 under direct sunlight, which are comparable to the state-of-the-art. This work offers great promise to make radiative cooling technologies more viable for saving energy and reducing emissions in building cooling applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1493-1499
Number of pages7
JournalNano letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 10 2021


  • 3D printing
  • nanoporous polyethylene
  • polymer matrix composite
  • radiative cooling
  • thermal management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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