Rachel Sherbondy

Phase stabilization and caloric effects in complex oxides


Rachel Sherbondy is a second year PhD student at the Colorado School of Mines in the Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department under the advisement of Dr. Geoff Brennecka. She graduated with her B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Penn State University in 2017. In her spare time, she enjoys running, hiking, and baking sweets.


To improve the efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of current technology for cooling devices, many look to solid state devices based on multicaloric materials. Multicaloric materials are those that exhibit one or more of the caloric effects, in which a change in temperature is coupled to a change in an external field. For example, the electrocaloric effect involves a change in temperature with the application of and electric field. To make a feasible device, the properties of multicaloric materials need to be optimized to have significant caloric effects over the working range of the device. In this work, complex oxides are targeted as materials to make multicaloric cooling devices. At this point in the project, some potential materials have been identified and preliminary results of phase identification, microstructure, and dielectric properties will be presented.