Liquid Crystals for Energy Applications

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

Liquid crystals are well-known for their use in devices, especially in flat panel displays. However, there
is increasing interest in using liquid crystals for non-display applications in a variety of novel areas.
This project will explore the use of liquid crystals in energy-related application areas, specifically in
electrocalorics and elastocalorics. In such applications, the liquid crystal is the medium by which
cooling is achieved. The electrocaloric effect is one in which a system experiences a change in
entropy when an electric field is applied to a polar dielectric system - the dipoles become more
aligned. For effective use in cooling, the entropy must be transported from one temperature level to
another in a cyclic manner and liquid crystals, as dielectric fluids are of significant interest for their
potential in this area. The project will explore their efficiency by examining a number of distinct phase
transitions for their electrocaloric behaviour. The elastic equivalent (where the change in entropy is
achieved mechanically) is also of significant interest in the project as we have recently discovered a
family of liquid crystal elastomers that may lend themselves to devices.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513258/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2132957 Studentship EP/R513258/1 01/10/2018 31/03/2022 Peter Tipping