Structure-Property Relationships in Polymers for Dielectric Capacitors

by Sahil Gupta

Institution: University of Akron
Department: Polymer Engineering
Degree: PhD
Year: 2014
Keywords: Polymer Chemistry; Polymers; Plastics; Materials Science; Energy; Engineering; Morphology; hydroxyl-functionalization; polypropylene; sulfonation; polystyrene; polyether ether ketone; poly 4-methyl-1-pentene; crystal structure; crystallization kinetics; rheology; H-bonding; surface topology; dielectric spectroscopy; breakdown
Record ID: 2053189
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=akron1395682393


Effective energy storage is a key challenge of the 21st century that has fueled research in the area of energy storage devices. In this dissertation, structure-property relationships have been evaluated for polymers that might be suitable for storing energy in high-energy density, high-temperature capacitors.Firstly, hydroxyl-modified polypropylenes (PPOH) were synthesized by copolymerization of the propylene and undecenyloxytrimethylsilane monomers. The presence of H-bonding in PPOH copolymers increased their glass-transition temperature. Steric hindrance by the comonomer reduced the PP crystal growth rate and crystal size, resulting in a melting point depression. The comonomer was restricted outside the crystalline domains leaving the a-monoclinic crystal structure of PP unaffected, but increasing the fold-surface free energy. Crystallization was slower for PPOH copolymers than PP, but exhibited a skewed bell curve as a function of hydroxyl concentration. H-bonding persisted even at melt temperatures up to 250°C resulting in a higher elasticity and viscosity for PPOH copolymers.Secondly, sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (HSPEEK) was synthesized by sulfonating PEEK with sulfuric acid, and further neutralized with Zn to obtain ZnSPEEK. The thermal and dielectric properties of SPEEK were compared with PEEK. The glass-transition increased and melting point were high enough to enable the use of polymer at 180°C. The incorporation of sulfonic groups in PEEK increased the dielectric constant. HSPEEK had a higher dielectric constant than ZnSPEEK due to higher dipolar mobility, but the dielectric loss was also higher for HSPEEK due to electrode polarization and DC conduction. These results were consistent with our observations from sulfonated polystyrene (HSPS), which was used as a >model&lang' polymer.Lastly, commercial poly(4-methyl-1-pentene) (P4MP) was characterized to check its viability as a high-temperature polymer dielectric. Thermal stability up to 200°C, high melting point (> 225°C) and melting onset at 160 - 190°C indicated that P4MP could be used at 180 - 200°C. Thin free-standing films (~10 µm) with controlled crystal structure and surface morphology were prepared using blade coating and their drying dynamics were measured using a custom-designed solvent-casting platform. These films were further stretched uniaxially or biaxially, and their effect on the dielectric properties of P4MP was studied.