Elastocaloric effect in vanadium (IV) oxide

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2020-06-22
Authors
Ouyang, Gaoyuan
Pan, Chaochao
Wolf, Sam
Mohapatra, Pratyasha
Takeuchi, Ichiro
Cui, Jun
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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Materials Science and Engineering

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering teaches the composition, microstructure, and processing of materials as well as their properties, uses, and performance. These fields of research utilize technologies in metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, and electronic materials.

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The Department of Materials Science and Engineering was formed in 1975 from the merger of the Department of Ceramics Engineering and the Department of Metallurgical Engineering.

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1975-present

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Elastocaloric cooling utilizes the latent heat associated with stress-induced reversible phase transformations to achieve cooling. Currently, the key barrier to this technology is its prohibitive cost due to the high elastocaloric material cost and the large stress required to drive the cooling cycle. Vanadium (IV) oxide (VO2) is a good candidate, and it is relatively cheap. Our calorimetry study shows it exhibits a reversible phase transformation with a large latent heat of 31.5 J/g as well as excellent functional stability. Its transformation temperature and latent heat are tunable via heat treatment. We demonstrate that VO2 powders can be cyclically compressed in a steel tube using a steel plunger to drive the elastocaloric effect. The application of relatively low stress of 300 MPa is sufficient to result in a reversible temperature change of 0.5 degrees C on the powder compact. Further improvement of reversible temperature change to 1.6 degrees C under 300 MPa is achieved by adding conductive copper powders. Future efforts should focus on improving material properties such as heat capacity and thermal conductivity for candidate ceramic oxides to maximize elastocaloric effects.

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