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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Observation of solid-state bidirectional thermal conductivity switching in antiferroelectric lead zirconate (PbZrO3).

  • Author(s): Aryana, Kiumars;
  • Tomko, John A;
  • Gao, Ran;
  • Hoglund, Eric R;
  • Mimura, Takanori;
  • Makarem, Sara;
  • Salanova, Alejandro;
  • Hoque, Md Shafkat Bin;
  • Pfeifer, Thomas W;
  • Olson, David H;
  • Braun, Jeffrey L;
  • Nag, Joyeeta;
  • Read, John C;
  • Howe, James M;
  • Opila, Elizabeth J;
  • Martin, Lane W;
  • Ihlefeld, Jon F;
  • Hopkins, Patrick E
  • et al.

Materials with tunable thermal properties enable on-demand control of temperature and heat flow, which is an integral component in the development of solid-state refrigeration, energy scavenging, and thermal circuits. Although gap-based and liquid-based thermal switches that work on the basis of mechanical movements have been an effective approach to control the flow of heat in the devices, their complex mechanisms impose considerable costs in latency, expense, and power consumption. As a consequence, materials that have multiple solid-state phases with distinct thermal properties are appealing for thermal management due to their simplicity, fast switching, and compactness. Thus, an ideal thermal switch should operate near or above room temperature, have a simple trigger mechanism, and offer a quick and large on/off switching ratio. In this study, we experimentally demonstrate that manipulating phonon scattering rates can switch the thermal conductivity of antiferroelectric PbZrO3 bidirectionally by -10% and +25% upon applying electrical and thermal excitation, respectively. Our approach takes advantage of two separate phase transformations in PbZrO3 that alter the phonon scattering rate in different manners. In this study, we demonstrate that PbZrO3 can serve as a fast (<1 second), repeatable, simple trigger, and reliable thermal switch with a net switching ratio of nearly 38% from ~1.20 to ~1.65 W m-1 K-1.

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