I hope this is the right place to ask my question. I am conducting a feasibility study into whether or not it would be possible to tint a single region of a continuous piece of glass. Think of a single square in the centre of a much larger rectangular pane of glass. It is important that whatever process is applied to the glass that it is still a single continuous pane.

I have seen electrochromic glass, but the samples of these frames I've seen always tint the whole pane.

I'm trying to conduct a literature review of potential methods of tinting but this isnt my area and im not sure what to search.

TLDR; Is it feasible to tint a small region of a much larger pane of glass via electrochromic means or otherwise?

  • $\begingroup$ Can't you just paint it? If not, why not? $\endgroup$
    – user190081
    Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 14:28
  • $\begingroup$ Do you require tinting the glass, which means mixing the color into the glass itself, or are you asking how to lay down a coating over a small region? $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 16:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ More to the point: what is the end-item functionality you desire? As the DataMungerGuru says, ask what the system must do, not how to do a sub-function you believe necessary. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ Do you need ordinary glass or could it be laminated glass? It might be possible to pre-tint part of laminating sheet prior to incorporating it into the glass. $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 17:06
  • $\begingroup$ @user190081 The regions of glass must be transparent as some points in their use case and not in others. $\endgroup$
    – Eoin
    Commented Oct 22, 2018 at 9:33

1 Answer 1


Glasses that change color with external stimulus (smart glass) are usually laminate structures in which the glass itself is not the active component that generates the change in color or transparency, but it is used to encapsulate or to serve as a substrate for the variety of coatings, films, fluids, conductive materials, etc, that make possible the color change.

So one option that I see is to coat the region in which you want the change in color with a (thermally activated) thermochormic film:

enter image description here M. Saeli et al., Thermochromic Thin Films: Synthesis, Properties and Energy, Consumption, Modelling, 2013.

Photochromic glass, on the other hand, has the ability to change color by itself. This transformation is activated by light of a particulate wavelength which depends on the composition of the glass. So you can fabricate your plate out of photochromic glass and just shine light in the area that you want tinted. You can find a quite interesting video on photochromic glass here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUcUy7SqdS0


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