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Ferroelectric polymers as multifunctional electroactive materials: recent advances, potential, and challenges

  • Xiaoshi Qian (a1), Shan Wu (a1), Eugene Furman (a1), Q.M. Zhang (a1) and Ji Su (a2)...

As multifunctional electroactive materials, ferroelectric polymers are unique owing to their exceptionally high dielectric strength (>600 MV/m), high flexibility, and easy and low-temperature fabrication into required shapes. Although polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF)-based ferroelectric polymers have been known for several decades, recent findings reveal the potential of this class of electroactive polymers (EAPs) to achieve giant electroactive responses by tuning the molecular, nano, and meso-structures. This paper presents these advances, including giant electrocaloric effect, giant electroactuation, and large, hysteresis-free polarization response. New developments in materials benefit applications, such as environmentally benign and potentially highly energy-efficient electrical field controlled solid-state refrigeration, artificial muscles, and high-energy and power density electric energy storage devices. The challenges in developing these materials to realize these applications, and strategies to further improve the responses of EAPs will be also discussed.

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