Caloric effects in soft matter

Elasto- and barocaloric effects are reversible thermal changes observed in materials submitted to external stretching or pressure variation, respectively. Together with other caloric effects (electro- and magnetocaloric), they have attracted significant attention because of their potential use in novel cooling devices and heat pumps. The rather large mechanical fields required to achieve notable caloric effects in solids may be avoided by using soft materials such as liquid crystal elastomers (LCE). We perform large-scale molecular Monte Carlo simulations to study caloric effects in LCE and to assist in the development and optimization of experimental soft caloric materials.

Selected papers

  • M. Lavrič, N. Derets, D. Črešnar, V. Cresta, V. Domenici, A. Rešetič, G. Skačej, M. Sluban, P. Umek, B. Zalar, Z. Kutnjak, and B. Rožič Tunability of the elastocaloric response in main-chain liquid crystalline elastomer, Liquid Crystals 1-7 (2020) [Link] [PDF]

  • G. Skačej, Elastocaloric effect in liquid crystal elastomers from molecular simulations, Liquid Crystals 45, 1964 (2018) [Link] [PDF].