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Large Electrocaloric Effect from Electrical Field Induced Orientational Order-Disorder Transition in Nematic Liquid Crystals Possessing Large Dielectric Anisotropy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 May 2013

Xiao-Shi Qian
Affiliation:
Department of Electrical Engineering and Materials Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
S. G. Lu
Affiliation:
Materials Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Xinyu Li
Affiliation:
Department of Electrical Engineering and Materials Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Haiming Gu
Affiliation:
Department of Electrical Engineering and Materials Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
L-C Chien
Affiliation:
Liquid Crystal Institute and Department of Chemical Physics, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA
Q. M. Zhang
Affiliation:
Department of Electrical Engineering and Materials Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA Materials Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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Abstract

Large electrocaloric (EC) effects in ferroelectric polymers and in ferroelectric ceramics have attracted great attention for new refrigeration development which is more environmental friendly and more efficient and thus could be an alternative to the existing vapor-compression refrigerators which consume large energy and release large amount of green house gas. However in the past, all EC effects investigations have been focused on solid state dielectrics. It is interesting to ask whether a large EC effect can also be realized in dielectric fluids. A dielectric fluid with large EC effect could lead to new design of cooling devices with simpler structures than these based on solid state EC materials, for example, they can be utilized as both the refrigerant and heat exchange fluid. Here we present that a large EC effect can be realized in the liquid crystal (LC) 5CB near it's nematic-isotropic (N-I) phase transition. The LC 5CB possesses a large dielectric anisotropy which can induce large polarization change from the isotropic phase to the nematic phase near the N-I transition. An isothermal entropy change of more than 23 Jkg-1K-1 was observed near 39 oC that is just above the N-I transition.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2013 

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References

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