Canada Research Chair in Solid State Chemistry of Responsive Materials
Tier 2 - 2006-06-01
Natural Sciences and Engineering
905-525-9140, ext. 27796
Coming to Canada from
Ames Laboratory of US DOE, Ames, Iowa USA
Synthesizing, characterizing, and applying aspects of magnetocaloric, thermoelectric phases, ferromagnetic shape memory alloys (FSMA) and phases with metal-to-insulator transitions (MIT).
The research may eventually be applied in magnetic refrigeration (magnetocaloric phases), cooling and power generation (thermoelectric phases), temperature sensors (MIT phases), and magnetic actuators, switches, and positioning devices (FSMAs).
Advanced New Materials for a Healthier World
Ever since chlorofluoro compounds (CFCs) were discovered in the 1970s to deplete the vital ozone layer that helps protect us from the damaging effects of the sun, scientists have been exploring alternative materials to act as refrigerants in refrigerators and air-conditioning units.
Canada Research Chair Yurij Mozhariviskyj is part of that effort. A research chemist at McMaster University, Mozharivskyj works on new advanced materials with special properties that are an improvement over existing materials in their environmental friendliness and energy efficiency. One group of materials under scrutiny in his lab are magnetocaloric; they heat up and cool down in response to changes in magnetic field. A fridge made of a magnetocaloric material would not only be environmentally friendly and quiet, but also more energy efficient compared to traditional ones.
Other materials being studied in Mozharivskyj's lab include ferromagnetic shape memory alloys and thermoelectric materials. In ferromagnetic shape memory alloys, application of a magnetic field on a sample leads to a giant magnetostriction. When the magnetic field is "unloaded," the original shape and dimensions of the sample are recovered. Because materials made with these alloys respond quickly and possess properties that make them efficient, they can be used as actuators, switches, sensors, and positioning devices.
In thermoelectric materials, which involve the conversion of heat into electricity, Mozhariviskyj is looking for new ways to produce the desired effect that result in a reduction in the traditional levels of thermal conductivity. The resulting materials would be more competitive in cooling applications and power generation.