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Landau Theory of Barocaloric Plastic Crystals

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Marín-Delgado, Roberto 
Moya Raposo, Xavier 


We present a simple Landau theory of plastic-to-crystal phase transitions in which the key components are a multipole-moment order parameter that describes the orientational ordering of the constituent molecules, coupling between such order parameter and elastic strains, and the thermal expansion of the solid. We illustrate the theory with the simplest non-trivial model in which the orientational ordering is described by a quadrupole moment, and use such model to calculate barocaloric effects in plastic crystals that are driven by hydrostatic pressure. The model captures main features of plastic-to-crystal phase transitions, namely the large volume and entropy changes at the transition, as well as the linear dependence of the transition temperature with pressure. We quantify the temperature regions in the barocaloric response associated with the individual plastic and crystal phases, and those involving the phase transition. Our model is in overall agreement with previous experiments in powdered samples of fullerite C₆₀, and predicts peak isothermal entropy changes of ∼90 JK¯¹kg¯¹ and peak adiabatic temperature changes of ∼35 K using 0.60 GPa at 265 K in fullerite single crystals.



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JPhys Energy

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IOP Publishing

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Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/M003752/1)
European Research Council (680032)
Royal Society, Churchill College (University of Cambridge) and University of Costa Rica.