Energy Conversion and Storage in Functional Dielectrics
Functional dielectrics, with unique electro-active behaviors such as ferro-, piezo- and pyro-electric properties, are attracting extensive attention for energy conversion and storage applications. Examples include capacitors, solid-state coolers, transducers, sensors and actuators (which are ubiquitous in electric vehicles), portable electronic devices, and advanced electrical systems. The last decades have witnessed tremendous research efforts on new dielectric materials including ceramics, polymers, composites, molecular crystals, and organic-inorganic hybrids designed at different atomic-, nano-, meso-scales, with intriguing functionalities/phenomena and manufacturing feasibilities. The applications of functional dielectrics are being further expanded towards emerging fields, including wireless sensor networks, IoT, and implantable biomedical devices. Despite all this exciting progress, there are still critical challenges to overcome: the energy density/conversion efficiency, as well as mechanical/thermal properties, are still not fully satisfactory to meet the increasing demand for compact, lightweight and reliable energy storage/conversion systems; the fundamental understanding of the correlations between stress, heat, photon, magnetic-responsive behaviors and inner crystalline/amorphous structures of dielectrics are not well established.
This special topical issue focuses on the conversion and storage of energy in dielectrics, such as new design paradigms and synthesis approaches for functional dielectrics, new understandings of ferro/piezo/pyro-electric physical mechanisms, and novel applications of dielectrics.
Guest Editors: Hong Wang, Jianhua Hao, and Qing Wang