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Title: Why is the electrocaloric effect so small in ferroelectrics?

Abstract

Ferroelectrics are attractive candidate materials for environmentally friendly solid state refrigeration free of greenhouse gases. Their thermal response upon variations of external electric fields is largest in the vicinity of their phase transitions, which may occur near room temperature. The magnitude of the effect, however, is too small for useful cooling applications even when they are driven close to dielectric breakdown. Insight from microscopic theory is therefore needed to characterize materials and provide guiding principles to search for new ones with enhanced electrocaloric performance. Here, we derive from well-known microscopic models of ferroelectricity meaningful figures of merit for a wide class of ferroelectric materials. Such figures of merit provide insight into the relation between the strength of the effect and the characteristic interactions of ferroelectrics such as dipolar forces. We find that the long range nature of these interactions results in a small effect. A strategy is proposed to make it larger by shortening the correlation lengths of fluctuations of polarization. In addition, we bring into question other widely used but empirical figures of merit and facilitate understanding of the recently observed secondary broad peak in the electrocalorics of relaxor ferroelectrics.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Materials Science Division; Univ. of Costa Rica, San Jose (Costa Rica)
  2. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States). James Franck Inst.
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES)
Contributing Org.:
Univ. of Costa Rica, San Jose (Costa Rica); Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
1356630
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
APL Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 4; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2166-532X
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; Relaxor ferroelectrics; Electric fields; Polarization; Ferroelectric materials; Mean field theory

Citation Formats

Guzmán-Verri, G. G., and Littlewood, P. B. Why is the electrocaloric effect so small in ferroelectrics?. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4950788.
Guzmán-Verri, G. G., & Littlewood, P. B. Why is the electrocaloric effect so small in ferroelectrics?. United States. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4950788
Guzmán-Verri, G. G., and Littlewood, P. B. 2016. "Why is the electrocaloric effect so small in ferroelectrics?". United States. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4950788. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1356630.
@article{osti_1356630,
title = {Why is the electrocaloric effect so small in ferroelectrics?},
author = {Guzmán-Verri, G. G. and Littlewood, P. B.},
abstractNote = {Ferroelectrics are attractive candidate materials for environmentally friendly solid state refrigeration free of greenhouse gases. Their thermal response upon variations of external electric fields is largest in the vicinity of their phase transitions, which may occur near room temperature. The magnitude of the effect, however, is too small for useful cooling applications even when they are driven close to dielectric breakdown. Insight from microscopic theory is therefore needed to characterize materials and provide guiding principles to search for new ones with enhanced electrocaloric performance. Here, we derive from well-known microscopic models of ferroelectricity meaningful figures of merit for a wide class of ferroelectric materials. Such figures of merit provide insight into the relation between the strength of the effect and the characteristic interactions of ferroelectrics such as dipolar forces. We find that the long range nature of these interactions results in a small effect. A strategy is proposed to make it larger by shortening the correlation lengths of fluctuations of polarization. In addition, we bring into question other widely used but empirical figures of merit and facilitate understanding of the recently observed secondary broad peak in the electrocalorics of relaxor ferroelectrics.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4950788},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1356630}, journal = {APL Materials},
issn = {2166-532X},
number = 6,
volume = 4,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {5}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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Cited by: 8 works
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Works referencing / citing this record:

Giant electrocaloric effect at the antiferroelectric-to-ferroelectric phase boundary in Pb(Zr x Ti 1– x )O 3
journal, July 2019


Self-heating of relaxor and ferroelectric ceramics during electrocaloric field cycling
journal, July 2019


Strongly enhanced electrocaloric effects in doped BaTiO 3 with reduced grain size
journal, November 2018


Atomic-scale measurement of polar entropy
journal, September 2019


Ferrielectricity in the metal-organic ferroelectric tris-sarcosine calcium chloride
journal, March 2017


Electrocaloric effects in the lead-free Ba ( Zr , Ti ) O 3 relaxor ferroelectric from atomistic simulations
journal, July 2017


BiFeO 3 -BaTiO 3 : A new generation of lead-free electroceramics
journal, December 2018