Dielectric Breakdown in Thin Polymetric Films

  1. Tseng, P.J.
  2. Szabo, J.P.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Atlantic, Dartmouth NS (CAN)
The dielectric breakdown strength is an important material property for polymeric thin films used in capacitors and in polymer based actuators. In this study, the dielectric breakdown properties of latex, biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP), and VHB 4905, a polyacrylate elastomer, were characterized as a function of temperature, pre-strain, and sample thickness. Polymer chain orientation in these materials was investigated with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and polarized light microscopy (PLM). It was discovered that dielectric breakdown strength increased in all investigated polymers as a function of increased biaxial pre-strain and decreased temperature. There was also strong support, through dielectric breakdown and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) data, that the glass transition temperature of VHB 4905 increases as a function of biaxial pre-strain. A linear relationship was found between the thickness adjusted x-ray diffraction peak height and degree of pre-strain for BOPP, a semi-crystalline polymer, and this suggests that polymer chain orientation occurs with pre-strain and may be a factor in the observed increase in dielectric breakdown strength of BOPP. For the amorphous polymer VHB 4905, however, it cannot be concluded that polymer chain orientation contributes to the observed increase in dielectric breakdown strength based on the results from XRD and FTIR.

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Report Number
DRDC-ATLANTIC-TM-2007-281 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Nov 2007
Number of Pages
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