Monodomain contributions to the electrocaloric effect in mechanically free (bulk) and laterally clamped (thin film) BaTiO3 are computed using a thermodynamic analysis. The authors show that the intrinsic electrocaloric coefficient at electric fields sufficient to destroy the discontinuous ferroelectric phase transition results in an adiabatic temperature change of 8K that agrees closely with the giant value of 12K recently observed experimentally for lead zirconate titanate thin films [A. S. Mischenko et al, Science311, 1270 (2006)]. Perfect lateral clamping transforms the discontinuous transition into a continuous transition, which decreases the magnitude of the electrocaloric effect by 20% but reduces its sensitivity to temperature.

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