August 13th, 2008 by rbanks
A Plastic That Chills
"Changing the electric field rearranges the atoms in the polymer, which in turn govern its temperature; this is called the electrocaloric effect. In a cooling device, a voltage would be applied to the material, which would then be brought in contact with whatever it’s intended to cool. The material would heat up, passing its energy to a heat sink or releasing it into the atmosphere. Reducing the electric field would bring the polymer back to a low temperature so that it could be reused."