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Tuning Phase Composition of Polymer Nanocomposites toward High Energy Density and High Discharge Efficiency by Nonequilibrium Processing

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journal contribution
posted on 15.08.2017, 00:00 by Jianyong Jiang, Xin Zhang, Zhenkang Dan, Jing Ma, Yuanhua Lin, Ming Li, Ce-Wen Nan, Yang Shen
Polymer nanocomposite dielectrics with high energy density and low loss are major enablers for a number of applications in modern electronic and electrical industry. Conventional fabrication of nanocomposites by solution routes involves equilibrium process, which is slow and results in structural imperfections, hence high leakage current and compromised reliability of the nanocomposites. We propose and demonstrate that a nonequilibrium process, which synergistically integrates electrospinning, hot-pressing and thermal quenching, is capable of yielding nanocomposites of very high quality. In the nonequilibrium nanocomposites of poly­(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) (P­(VDF-HFP)) and BaTiO3 nanoparticles (BTO_nps), an ultrahigh Weibull modulus β of ∼30 is achieved, which is comparable to the quality of the bench-mark biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) fabricated with melt-extrusion process by much more sophisticated and expensive industrial apparatus. Favorable phase composition and small crystalline size are also induced by the nonequilibrium process, which leads to concomitant enhancement of electric displacement and breakdown strength of the nanocomposite hence a high energy density of ∼21 J/cm3. Study on the polarization behavior and phase transformation at high electric field indicates that BTO_nps could facilitate the phase transformation from α- to β-polymorph at low electric field.