Electrocaloric Performance of Multilayer Ceramic Chips: Effect of Geometric Structure Induced Internal Stress

Li Qian Cheng, Yongke Yan, Xiaotian Li, Xiangming Xiong, Xin Chen, Li Feng Zhu, Wenjie Li, Kai Chen, Mohan Sanghadasa, Shashank Priya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Driven by an ever-growing demand for environmentally benign cooling systems, the past decade has witnessed the booming development in the field of electrocaloric (EC) cooling technology, which is considered as a promising solid-state cooling approach. Multilayer ceramic chip capacitors (MLCCs) represent the optimum structure for EC cooling elements because of large breakdown strengths, low driving voltages, and high macroscopic volumes of active EC materials. However, fundamental relationships between the geometric parameters of MLCCs and the EC coefficient are less understood. In this study, 0.92Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3-0.08PbTiO3 (PMN-PT) MLCCs with controlled configurations, such as active/inactive layer thickness, number of layers, and active volume ratio, were fabricated, and their EC performance was evaluated. The electric properties of the MLCCs are confirmed to be closely related to the geometric structure, which influences not only the heat flow but also the internal stress, resulting in the variability of EC performance and reliability/breakdown strength. The internal stress arises due to the residual thermal stress originating from the densification-related shrinkage, thermal expansion mismatch during the sintering, and clamping stress arising from the inactive area due to the large strain from the active area under a high electric field. The geometric structure-based stress distribution and the magnitude of stress on the active layers in MLCCs were determined by finite element modeling (FEM) and correlated with the experimental EC coefficients. The results reveal that a low inactive volume percentage is beneficial toward increasing the breakdown field and enhancement of EC performance because of reduced clamping stress on active EC material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38508-38516
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 18 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors from China were supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (51602345 and 51705373), State Key Laboratory of New Ceramic and Fine Processing Tsinghua University (ZDKF201901 and KF201910), the Yue Qi Young Scholar Project of China University of Mining & Technology (Beijing) (2019QN12), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2016QJ01), and a China Scholarship Council scholarship. X.L. acknowledges the support through the National Science Foundation through award no. DMR-1936432. Y.Y. acknowledges the support through NSF I/UCRC: Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems (CEHMS). H.L. acknowledges the support through the DARPA program (HR00111920001). S.P. acknowledges the support through the National Science Foundation international program (OISE-1829573). We thank Dr. Qiming Zhang at The Pennsylvania State University for his kind suggestions on measuring EC performance of MLCC.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society.


  • electrocaloric
  • geometric structure
  • internal stress
  • multilayer ceramic capacitor
  • PMN-PT

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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