Direct Measurement of Pyroelectric and Electrocaloric Effects in Thin Films

Shishir Pandya, Joshua D. Wilbur, Bikram Bhatia, Anoop R. Damodaran, Christian Monachon, Arvind Dasgupta, William P. King, Chris Dames, Lane W. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An understanding of polarization-heat interactions in pyroelectric and electrocaloric thin-film materials requires that the electrothermal response is reliably characterized. While most work, particularly in electrocalorics, has relied on indirect measurement protocols, here we report a direct technique for measuring both pyroelectric and electrocaloric effects in epitaxial ferroelectric thin films. We demonstrate an electrothermal test platform where localized high-frequency (approximately 1 kHz) periodic heating and highly sensitive thin-film resistance thermometry allow the direct measurement of pyrocurrents (<10 pA) and electrocaloric temperature changes (<2 mK) using the "2-omega" and an adapted "3-omega" technique, respectively. Frequency-domain, phase-sensitive detection permits the extraction of the pyrocurrent from the total current, which is often convoluted by thermally-stimulated currents. The wide-frequency-range measurements employed in this study further show the effect of secondary contributions to pyroelectricity due to the mechanical constraints of the substrate. Similarly, measurement of the electrocaloric effect on the same device in the frequency domain (at approximately 100 kHz) allows for the decoupling of Joule heating from the electrocaloric effect. Using one-dimensional, analytical heat-transport models, the transient temperature profile of the heterostructure is characterized to extract pyroelectric and electrocaloric coefficients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number034025
JournalPhysical Review Applied
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 28 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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