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Hierarchically designed and eco-friendly CA film for passive protection of ice under sunlight via radiative cooling. Energy transfer process of ice systems at (A) low/middle and (B) high (>70.5°N) latitudes, respectively, in a unit of watts per square meter. The solar irradiation and mid-infrared emission are the dominant energy input and output for both scenarios. The unbalanced energy flows lead to the melting of ice. (C to F) Hierarchical designs and life cycle of the porous CA film for realizing passive ice protection via radiative cooling. (C) The intrinsic molecular vibrations and (D) porous structure endow the CA film with high mid-infrared emissivity and solar reflectivity, respectively. Therefore, the thermal loads on the ice systems are substantially reduced with the hierarchically designed film. (E) At the end of the life cycle, the hierarchically designed CA film can be decomposed by the natural microorganism to reproduce CA (right). (F) The abundant raw materials of the hierarchically designed CA film can be derived from the cytoderm of natural plants. Image credit: Science Advances

Radiative cooling: Protecting ice from melting under sunlight, from iced food to glaciers

Ice plays a significant role in many aspects of life, ranging from food preservation to ice sports and ecosystems, thereby providing incentive to protect ice from melting under sunlight. Fundamentally, ice melts under sunlight due to the imbalance of energy flow of incoming sunlight and outgoing thermal radiation. Radiative cooling can therefore balance the energy flows without energy consumption to sustainably protect ice.Read More »Radiative cooling: Protecting ice from melting under sunlight, from iced food to glaciers