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Title: Electrocaloric materials and devices
Author: Crossley, Samuel
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2013
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The temperature and/or entropy of electrically polarisable materials can be altered by changing electric field E. Research into this electrocaloric (EC) effect has focussed on increasing the size of the EC effects, with the long-term aim of building a cooler with an EC material at its heart. Materials and experimental methods are briefly reviewed. A ‘resetting’ indirect route to isothermal entropy change ∆S for hysteretic first-order transitions is described. An indirect route to adiabatic temperature change ∆T, without the need for field-resolved heat capacity data, is also described. Three temperature controllers were built: a cryogenic probe for 77-420 K with ∼5 mK resolution, a high-temperature stage with vacuum enclosure for 295-700 K with ∼15 mK resolution, and a low-temperature stage for 120-400 K with electrical access via micropositioners. Automation enables dense datasets to be compiled. Single crystals of inorganic salts (NH4)2SO4 , KNO3 and NaNO2 were obtained. Applying 380 kV cm−1 across (NH4)2SO4 , it was found that |∆S| ∼ 20 J K−1 kg−1 and |∆T | ∼ 4 K, using the indirect method near the Curie temperature TC = 223 K. Without the ‘resetting’ indirect method, |∆S| ∼ 45 J K−1 kg−1 would have been spuriously found. Preliminary indirect measurements on KNO3 and NaNO2 give |∆S| ∼ 75 J K−1 kg−1 for ∆E ∼ 31 kV cm−1 near TC = 400 K and |∆S| ∼ 14 J K−1 kg−1 for ∆E ∼ 15 kV cm−1 near TC = 435 K, respectively. A cation-ordered PbSc0.5Ta0.5O3 ceramic showing a nominally first-order transition at 295 K was obtained. The Clausius-Clapeyron phase diagram is revealed via indirect measurements where |∆S| ∼ 3.25 J K−1 kg−1 and |∆T | ∼ 2 K, and direct measurements where |∆T | ∼ 2 K. Clamped samples show broadening of the field-induced transition. Epitaxial, ∼64 nm-thick SrTiO3 films were grown by pulsed laser deposition on NdGaO3 (001) substrates with a La0.67Sr0.33MnO3 bottom electrode. The indirect method gives |∆S| ∼ 8 J K−1 kg−1 and |∆T | ∼ 3.5 K near 180 K with |∆E| = 780 kV cm−1. Finite element modelling (FEM) was used to optimise the geometry of multilayered capacitors (MLCs) for EC cooling. Intrinsic cooling powers of 25.9 kW kg−1 are predicted for an optimised MLC based on PVDF-TrFE with Ag electrodes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: EPSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Electrocaloric ; Ferroelectric ; Phase transition ; Lead scandium tantalate ; Ammonium sulphate ; Potassium nitrate ; Sodium nitrite ; Epitaxial films ; Pulsed laser deposition ; Strontium titanate ; Multilayer capacitors ; Finite element method ; (NH4)2SO4 ; KNO3 ; NaNO2 ; PbSc0.5Ta0.5O3 ; SrTiO3