Force-driven reversible liquid-gas phase transition mediated by elastic nanosponges

K Nomura and H Nishihara and M Yamamoto and A Gabe and M Ito and M Uchimura and Y Nishina and H Tanaka and MT Miyahara and T Kyotani, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 10, 2559 (2019).

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-10511-7

Nano-confined spaces in nanoporous materials enable anomalous physicochemical phenomena. While most nanoporous materials including metal-organic frameworks are mechanically hard, graphene-based nanoporous materials possess significant elasticity and behave as nanosponges that enable the force-driven liquid-gas phase transition of guest molecules. In this work, we demonstrate force-driven liquid-gas phase transition mediated by nanosponges, which may be suitable in high- efficiency heat management. Compression and free-expansion of the nanosponge afford cooling upon evaporation and heating upon condensation, respectively, which are opposite to the force-driven solid-solid phase transition in shape-memory metals. The present mechanism can be applied to green refrigerants such as H2O and alcohols, and the available latent heat is at least as high as 192 kJ kg(-1). Cooling systems using such nanosponges can potentially achieve high coefficients of performance by decreasing the Young's modulus of the nanosponge.

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