Size-dependent melting decouples melting temperature from chemical composition and provides a new design variable for phase change material applications. To demonstrate this potential, we create nanocomposites that exhibit stable and tunable melting temperatures through numerous melt-freeze cycles. These composites consist of a monodisperse ensemble of Bi nanoparticles (NPs) embedded in a polyimide (PI) resin matrix. The Bi NPs operate as the phase change component whereas the PI resin matrix prevents nanoparticle coalescence during melt-freeze cycles. We tune melting temperature and enthalpy of fusion in these composites by varying the NP diameter. Adjusting the NP volume fraction also controls the composite's thermal energy storage density. Hence it is possible to leverage size effects to tune phase change temperature and energy density in phase change materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)