Research Fellows Directory
Enric Stern Taulats
Mr Enric Stern Taulats
University of Cambridge
Refrigeration and air-conditioning constitute an increasingly important industrial sector due to its continuous rise in demand worldwide. However, conventional vapor-compression cooling technologies rely on the use of refrigerant gases that harm the environment due to their greenhouse-effect and ozone depletion properties. I investigate on alternative physical mechanisms which can lead to novel cooling techniques with more energy efficient and environmental friendly standards.
On the one hand, I study solid materials which exhibit giant field-driven thermal effects, namely giant magneto-, electro-, and mechanocaloric effects if the applied field is a magnetic field, an electric field, or a mechanical stress, respectively. These phenomena are likely to occur in first-order phase transitions with a strong coupling between structural, magnetic, and electrical properties. Under these conditions, the thermal response can be greatly enhanced because the effect can account for the sum of the entropy contributions associated with each degree of freedom. In view of applications, my most recent research focuses on the development of a cooler which is aimed at employing barocaloric solids for cooling purposes for the first time.
On the other hand, I am exploring the sorptiocaloric properties in hybrid metal-organic. In this case, the cooling mechanism relies on the cyclical sorption and desorption of harmless fluids. The diversity of structures of hybrid metal-organic frameworks enables tailoring properties such as density, degree of porosity, electric properties, and magnetic properties, which can be of great convenience for the design of novel sorptiocaloric materials. Interestingly, these sorption phenomena are associated with outstanding values of the heat exchange that outperform the caloric effects observed in any existing magnetocaloric, electrocaloric or mechanocaloric material.