Scheme: University Research Fellowship
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Dates: Oct 2013-Sep 2018
Summary: Magnetocaloric, electrocaloric and mechanocaloric effects are reversible thermal changes that occur in magnetically, electrically and mechanically responsive materials when subjected to changes in magnetic, electric and mechanical (uniaxial or isotropic) applied field. These effects are analogous to the pressure-induced thermal changes in fluids that are exploited in current refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, but they promise higher energy efficiencies and obviate the need for ozone depleting and greenhouse gases.
Development of new solid-state cooling technologies based on these caloric effects, therefore, may ease the impending energy crisis and protect the environment. However, before any application takes place, it is still necessary to find suitable materials that satisfy the demanding practical requirements set by industrial and household refrigerators, namely extremely large (giant) and fully reversible thermal changes in response to modest and inexpensive applied fields, which occur near room temperature.
I aim at developing new caloric materials, and combinations of materials, by exploiting the multiple couplings between magnetic, electrical, structural and thermal properties that are exhibited by multiferroic materials. My proposed research may permit the discovery of materials with outstanding caloric properties that match applications, and also reduce the magnitude and cost of the external fields required to achieve them.