Researchers at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C. have discovered a new, efficient way to extract heat using ferroelectric crystals. The crystal materials exhibit an electrical polarization in the absence of an electrical field that can be reversed by applying an external electrical field, resulting in a significant temperature change.
Ronald Cohen, staff scientist at Carnegie’s Geophysical Laboratory and University of Chicago student Maimon Rose performed atomic-scale molecular dynamics simulations on the ferroelectric crystals. According to Cohen, the application of an external electrical field allows the crystals to assist with extracting heat. He adds that “the effect is larger if the ambient temperature is well above the transition temperature, so low transition temperature materials are preferred.
The researchers hope to use the crystals on computer chips to assist with current overheating and meltdown issues and remove the limit on higher computer speeds.