Junior R&T Associate: Heat exchange in electrocaloric ceramics

Reference : MRT-2019-021

Type: Researcher
Contract type: Fixed term contract
Duration: 24 months
Place: Belvaux



Caloric materials are considered as one of the most promising fields of solid state research when it comes to revolutionize cooling technologies. This challenge is important as we spend in Europe more than 15% of our energy to refrigerate food or cool down our houses. Therefore any new technology must be energy efficient. And it turns out that Electrocaloric (EC) materials – temperature change triggered by electric field – are particularly well suited to high efficiency.




Consequently, the objective of our team at LIST is to identify the material parameters inducing high efficiency in EC systems.

This objective raises three scientific questions:

  • What are the EC materials with the largest variation of temperature?
  • What are the EC materials with the highest material efficiency?
  • How heat exchange occurs in EC materials?

90% of the literature focuses on the first question, which means that the best materials have already been identified (relaxors and antiferroelectrics). On the contrary, the questions addressing energy efficiency and heat exchange in EC materials have been largely overlooked, though they are equally important when it comes to EC systems.

The purpose of this post doc is to focus on the third point, namely studying the heat exchange of EC materials with fluids and solids. Indeed, this point is crucial when it comes to make fridges or heat pump. At the moment very little is known on the ways to improve the rather poor thermal conductivities of EC materials. A specific point that will be investigated in this project is the electric field dependence of EC ceramics thermal conductivity. We will also study how to extract heat from these EC materials either by conduction or convection.





  • PhD in materials science
  • PhD defended


  • Good knowledge of ferroelectric materials
  • Solid-state physics
  • Knowledge of electronics would be a plus


  • English is mandatory


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Dr Emmanuel DEFAY
Dr Emmanuel DEFAY


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