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Large electrocaloric effects in oxide multilayer capacitors over a wide temperature range

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Heat pumps that exploit field-driven transitions in magnetocaloric and electrocaloric materials employ regeneration to separate sinks from loads by relatively large temperature spans1,2. However, the performance of prototypes is limited because practical magnetocaloric working bodies driven by permanent magnets3–5, and electrocaloric working bodies driven by voltage6–16, display temperature changes of up to 3 K. Here we show that high-quality multilayer capacitors of PbSc0.5Ta0.5O3 display large electrocaloric effects over a wide range of starting temperatures when the first-order ferroelectric phase transition is driven supercritically (as verified by Landau theory) above the 290-K Curie temperature using electric fields of 29.0 V μm-1. Changes of temperature in the large central area peak near room temperature at 5.5 K, and exceed 3 K for starting temperatures that span 176 K (complete thermalization would reduce these values to 3.3 K and 73 K). Multilayer capacitors of PbSc0.5Ta0.5O3 could therefore replace the working bodies of gadolinium in magnetocaloric cooling devices, permitting established design principles to be repurposed without bulky and expensive permanent magnets.

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Correspondence to X. Moya or S. Hirose or N. D. Mathur.

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Supplementary Information

This file contains Supplementary Notes 1-17 and References.

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