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Science ; 370(6512): 125-129, 2020 10 02.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33004522


Cooling devices based on caloric materials have emerged as promising candidates to become the next generation of coolers. Several electrocaloric (EC) heat exchangers have been proposed that use different mechanisms and working principles. However, a prototype that demonstrates a competitive temperature span has been missing. We developed a parallel-plate active EC regenerator based on lead scandium tantalate multilayer capacitors. After optimizing the structural design by using finite element modeling for guidance and to considerably improve insulation, we measured a maximum temperature span of 13.0 kelvin. This temperature span breaks a crucial barrier and confirms that EC materials are promising candidates for cooling applications.

Nat Commun ; 9(1): 1827, 2018 05 08.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29739924


Materials that show large and reversible electrically driven thermal changes near phase transitions have been proposed for cooling applications, but energy efficiency has barely been explored. Here we reveal that most of the work done to drive representative electrocaloric cycles does not pump heat and may therefore be recovered. Initially, we recover 75-80% of the work done each time BaTiO3-based multilayer capacitors drive electrocaloric effects in each other via an inductor (diodes prevent electrical resonance while heat flows after each charge transfer). For a prototype refrigerator with 24 such capacitors, recovering 65% of the work done to drive electrocaloric effects increases the coefficient of performance by a factor of 2.9. The coefficient of performance is subsequently increased by reducing the pumped heat and recovering more work. Our strategy mitigates the advantage held by magnetocaloric prototypes that exploit automatic energy recovery, and should be mandatory in future electrocaloric cooling devices.

Rev Sci Instrum ; 84(1): 015007, 2013 Jan.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23387687


We present a technique based on ultrafast acoustics which permits us to measure the electrical dependence of the elastic properties of a thin piezoelectric layer. Ultrafast acoustics offers a unique way of measuring elastic properties of thin-layer in a non-destructive way using ultrashort optical pulses. We apply this technique to a thin layer to which a dc voltage is simultaneously applied. Both the film thickness and the sound velocity are affected. The two effects can be separated by use of a semi-transparent top electrode. A demonstration is made on a thin aluminum nitride (AlN). From that the d(33) piezoelectric coefficient and the stiffness variation induced by the bias in AlN are measured.

Nat Mater ; 12(1): 52-8, 2013 Jan.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23104152


Large thermal changes driven by a magnetic field have been proposed for environmentally friendly energy-efficient refrigeration, but only a few materials that suffer hysteresis show these giant magnetocaloric effects. Here we create giant and reversible extrinsic magnetocaloric effects in epitaxial films of the ferromagnetic manganite La(0.7)Ca(0.3)MnO(3) using strain-mediated feedback from BaTiO(3) substrates near a first-order structural phase transition. Our findings should inspire the discovery of giant magnetocaloric effects in a wide range of magnetic materials, and the parallel development of nanostructured bulk samples for practical applications.