Energy barriers for dipole moment flipping in PVDF-related ferroelectric polymers
YJ Yu and AJH McGaughey, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 144, 014901 (2016).
Energy barriers for flipping the transverse dipole moments in poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) and related copolymers and terpolymers are predicted using the nudged elastic band method. The dipole moments flip individually along the chain, with an order and energy barrier magnitudes (0.1-1.2 eV) that depend on the chain composition and environment. Trifluoroethylene (TrFE) and chlorofluoroethylene (CFE) monomers have larger energy barriers than VDF monomers, while a chain in an amorphous environment has a similar transition pathway as that of an isolated molecule. In a crystalline environment, TrFE and CFE monomers expand the lattice and lower the energy barriers for flipping VDF monomers. This finding is consistent with experimental observations of a large electrocaloric effect in P(VDF-TrFE-CFE) terpolymers. (C) 2016 AIP Publishing LLC.
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