Thermally Functional Materials

Aman Haque’s Powerful Lab is the Size of a Fingertip

Aman Haque likes a challenge, and understanding thermal transport at the nanoscale is unexplored territory with plenty of room for experimental discovery. The professor of mechanical engineering is one of only a handful of researchers around the world with the capability to study the thermal and electrical properties of a material in real time under an electron microscope. He does it with a laboratory small enough to sit on a fingertip.  Read the full article here...


"Electrocaloric Materials"

There is a need for environmentally friendly and energy efficient cooling technologies to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Electrocaloric effect (ECE) based cooling technology could be a radically different energy solution compared to conventional vapor compressions refrigeration. ECE is a phenomenon in which a material exhibits a reversible temperature change when an electrical field is applied.

Solution-processed ternary ferroelectric polymer nanocomposites are a totally new form of ECE materials that far surpass current EC ceramics and polymers. Coupled with its excellent processability, simplicity, and scalability, this approach represents the key step to practical applications of ECE in room-temperature refrigeration for air conditioning, compact solid state refrigerators, and on-chip cooling devices.

Developed in the labs of Qiming Zhang and Qing Wang at Penn State, these ferroelectric polymer nanocomposites show state of the art cooling energy densities in a solution-processed material. By shape-controlling the nanostructure of the composites, dramatically increased EC performance is anticipated.