Daytime radiative cooling offers efficient passive cooling of objects by tailoring their spectral responses, holding great promise for green photonics applications. A specular reflector has been utilized in cooling devices to minimize sunlight absorption, but such a glaring surface is visually less appealing, thus undesirable for public use. Here, by exploiting strong diffuse reflection of silica nanoshells in a polymer matrix, daytime radiative cooling below the ambient temperature is experimentally demonstrated, while showing whitish color under sunlight. The cooling device consists of a poly(methyl methacrylate) layer with randomly distributed silica nanoshells and a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) layer on an Ag mirror. The non-resonant nanoshells exhibit uniform diffuse reflection over the solar spectrum, while fully transparent for a selective thermal radiation from the underneath PDMS layer. In the temperature measurement under the sunlight irradiation, the device shows 2.3 °C cooler than the ambient, which is comparable to or even better than the conventional device without the nanoshells. Our approach provides a simple yet powerful nanophotonic structure for realizing a scalable and practical daytime radiative cooling device without a glaring reflective surface.
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