Multifunctional cantilevers as working elements in solid-state cooling devices

Andraž Bradeško*, Lovro Fulanović, Marko Vrabelj, Aleksander Matavž, Mojca Otoničar, Jurij Koruza, Barbara Malič, Tadej Rojac

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the challenges of practical implementation, electrocaloric (EC) cooling remains a promising technology because of its good scalability and high efficiency. Here, we investigate the feasibility of an EC cooling device that couples the EC and electromechanical (EM) responses of a highly functionally, efficient, lead magnesium niobate ceramic material. We fabricated multifunctional cantilevers from this material and characterized their electrical, EM and EC properties. Two active cantilevers were stacked in a cascade structure, forming a proof-of-concept device, which was then analyzed in detail. The cooling effect was lower than the EC effect of the material itself, mainly due to the poor solid-to-solid heat transfer. However, we show that the use of ethylene glycol in the thermal contact area can significantly reduce the contact resistance, thereby improving the heat transfer. Although this solution is most likely impractical from the design point of view, the results clearly show that in this and similar cooling devices, a non-destructive, surface-modification method, with the same effectiveness as that of ethylene glycol, will have to be developed to reduce the thermal contact resistance. We hope this study will motivate the further development of multifunctional cooling devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cooling
  • Electrocaloric response
  • Electromechanical response
  • Multifunctional materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Control and Optimization

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science


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