Photo of Kaichen Dong

Energy & sustainability

Kaichen Dong

A “smart” coating that can be attached to any roof.

Year Honored

University of California, Berkeley and Berkeley Lab


Hails From

A huge portion of the energy consumption around the world is used to heat and cool buildings. To reduce this consumption and its related emissions, Kaichen Dong, 32, has developed a “smart” coating that can be attached to any roof. The key material is vanadium dioxide, which automatically switches from radiating heat away from a home on a hot day to insulating it in cooler weather. The coating works best in areas where the temperature changes significantly from summer to winter or day to night, and it is not meant to replace heating and cooling systems entirely. Instead, it eases demand on these systems by keeping a building’s temperature within a more manageable range.