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New Progress Made in Solid-State Cooling by Hou Huilong


On March 29, 2022, Nature Reviews Materials (impact factor 66.308) reported the new progress made by Associate Professor Hou Huilong of Beihang Hangzhou Innovation Institute Yuhang in the field of solid-state cooling.

Nature Reviews Materials has an impact factor of 66.308, ranking first among all journals in materials science. The article, as the first work reported by this journal, marks a breakthrough in fundamental research by the research team at the Institute.

Link to the article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41578-022-00428-x


Cooling technologies based on caloric materials, which are solid materials that undergo reversible phase transformations and exhibit field-induced temperature, derive heat-pumping capabilities from the manipulation of internal order parameters. Caloric materials exhibit high energy-conversion efficiencies and do not emit greenhouse gases, which can not only boast huge economic and environmental value but also appear to be promising for application in aeronautics and astronautics, and space exploration.

The Significance

In this review, Associate Professor Hou Huilong noted original research work at three levels: materials, physics, and systems, which successfully achieved effects of combination for field-induced entropy change, established a criterion for lengthening the functional lifetime of phase-transforming materials, and optimized related evaluation system. This work not only summarizes and supplements theories in the single-field effect but also enriches and broadens the types and conceptual categories of refrigeration materials and instruments in multiple fields.

This work was co-sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation, the Youth Talent Support Program of Beihang University, and Beihang Hangzhou Innovation Institute Yuhang.

Fig. 2

Fig. 1(a) Caloric cooling processes can be classified into four major categories depending on whether a material is single-phase or composite and whether single or multiple fields are applied for heat pumping. It analyzes the relation between single field-induced caloric effect and multiple field-induced caloric effects of magnetocaloric, electrocaloric and mechanocaloric effects of (b) single-phase materials and (c) composite materials. (d) Configurations of single-phase materials under a single applied field (I.1–I.3), single-phase materials under multiple fields (II.1–II.4), composite materials under a single field (III.1–III.3) and composite materials under multiple fields (IV.1–IV.4)

About the Platform of Green Aviation and Alternative Aviation Fuels (AAFs)

The platform of Green Aviation and Alternative Aviation Fuels (AAFs) is a key interdisciplinary platform in ZFAU's academic development plan. The platform has independently developed an emission sampling measurement system and a Wide-Temperature Condensation Particle Counters (WTCPC) that meet the latest ICAO airworthiness standards, a kernel problem in airworthiness certification of homegrown aero-engines and manufacture of domestic large aircraft.

Associate Professor HOU Huilong joined the platform in August 2020. Since then, he has been working on research and teaching in airborne cooling systems of intelligent aircraft and caloric cooling. Cooling technology and its materialization in lightweight airborne devices have huge prospects and economic significance for aviation and aeronautic applications.

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About the author:

HOU Huilong, Associate Professor

· Beihang Hangzhou Innovation Institute Yuhang

· School of Aeronautic Science and Engineering, Beihang University

He received his Ph.D. degree from the Pennsylvania State University in 2015 and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Maryland from 2016 to 2019. He was nominated as "Top 10 Young Science & Tech Figures in China" in 2020, and his research work has been published in many international journals such as Science, Nature Communications, etc.