Using Heat: The Physics and Applications of Pyroelectricity
Pyroelectricity is the electrical response of a material to a change in temperature. This phenomenon occurs in noncentrosymmetric inorganic and organic crystals that possess a spontaneous dipole moment in the absence of an external electric field. There are many materials that exhibit the pyroelectric effect, but not all of these are useful in industrial applications. Aside from the physics and history of the pyroelectric effect, I will focus on the application of these types of materials to thermal imaging, microcalorimetry, and photopyroelectric spectroscopy.