Advisory Board

Professor Qiming Zhang

The ScienceDaily article Compressor-free Refrigerator May Loom In The Future said

Refrigerators and other cooling devices may one day lose their compressors and coils of piping and become solid state, according to Penn State researchers who are investigating electrically induced heat effects of some ferroelectric polymers.
“This is the first step in the development of an electric field refrigeration unit,” says Qiming Zhang, distinguished professor of electrical engineering. “For the future, we can envision a flat panel refrigerator. No more coils, no more compressors, just solid polymer with appropriate heat exchangers.”

Qiming Zhang, Ph.D., FIEEE is Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Material Science Engineering at Penn State University and an IEEE fellow. He is also Vice President and CTO of Strategic Polymer Sciences.
As a leading expert in electroactive polymers in the world, Qiming has over 260 publications and 9 patents in this field. He also has co-edited 4 books and contributed many chapters in electroactive polymers and related technologies. His group discovered and developed electrostrictive polymers with high strain responses, developed microfluidic devices and microactuators based on EAPs, proposed and demonstrated ultrahigh dielectric constant hybrid nanometamaterials based on delocalized electron system, and more recently, the dielectric polymers with high electric energy density for capacitor applications. His research has been funded by NIH, DOE, DOD, NSF, and many companies.
His Research Areas include:

  • Novel electroactive polymers and polymer systems: Material designs, synthesis, and characterization. Making use of molecular and electronic phenomena in polymer and organic materials, novel electroactive polymeric material systems are designed and fabricated. Recently, his group has developed electroactive polymers which exhibit a dielectric constant near 1,000 and can generate strain of higher than 13% with elastic energy density near 1 J/cm3 under a relatively low applied field.
  • Electromechanical materials and devices: actuators and sensors, transducers, and micro-electromechanical systems, energy harvesting. Based on the high performance electroactive polymers and composites developed, various solid state electromechanical devices are investigated, including MEMS, artificial muscles, energy harvesting, and micro-sensors.
  • Dielectric materials and devices: electronic packaging, capacitors, electric energy storage. The most recent work in this area is the PVDF based high dielectric constant terpolymers (room temperature dielectric constant>60) and 0–3 composites which are suitable for high electric energy density storage capacitors.
  • Photonic structures, electro-optic and acousto-optic materials and devices. Research work in photonic structures focuses on the micro-machined tunable photonic crystals for reconfigurable waveguide and tunable optic filter for optic communications.
  • Pyroelectric materials and devices. The research work in this area is mainly based on the relaxor ferroelectric polymer ultra-thin films developed in Qiming’s research group which shows high pyroelectric properties over a relatively broad temperature range.
  • Ferroelectric polymer thin and ultrathin films, ink-jet printing of organic active devices, nano-materials and devices based on functional polymers.
Qiming coedited Electroactive Polymers (Eap): Symposium Held November 29-December 1, 1999, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. (Materials Research Society Symposia Proceedings, V. 600.) and Electroactive Polymers and Rapid Prototyping: Symposia Held November 26–30, 2001, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A (Materials Research Society Symposia Proceedings).
He coauthored Nonlinear piezoelectric behavior of ceramic bending mode actuators under strong electric fields, Electromechanical properties of lead zirconate titanate piezoceramics under the influence of mechanical stresses, Field-Forced Antiferroelectric-to-Ferroelectric Switching in Modified Lead Zirconate Titanate Stannate Ceramics, High performance of all-polymer electrostrictive systems, Effect of high energy electron irradiation on the electromechanical properties of poly (vinylidene fluoride-trifluorethylene) 50/50 and 65/35 copolymers, and High Dielectric Constant Composite of P(VDF-TrFE) with Grafted Copper Phthalocyanine Oligomer.
Qiming’s patents include High strain electrostrictive polymer, High dielectric constant composites of metallophthalaocyanine oligomer and poly(vinylidene-trifluoroethylene) copolymer, Terpolymer systems for electromechanical and dielectric applications, Ferroelectric relaxor polymer method, Single resonant band, tunable optical fiber wavelength filter based on long-period fiber grating, Ferroelectric relaxer polymers, Single resonant band, tunable optical fiber wavelength filter based on long-period fiber grating, Ferroelectric relaxor actuator for an ink-jet print head, and Single crystal domain driven bender actuator.
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