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Optically transparent wood combines mechanical performance with optical functionalities is an emerging candidate for applications in smart buildings and structural optics and photonics. The present review summarizes transparent wood preparation methods, optical and mechanical performance, and functionalization routes, and discusses potential applications. The various challenges are discussed for the purpose of improved performance, scaled-up production and realization of advanced applications.doi:10.1098/rsta.2017.0182 pmid:29277747 fatcat:j5qxbklrv5dlpivbs75u63ebza