Thermal Characterization of Dielectric Thin Films for High-Temperature High-Energy-Density Capacitors

Project: Research project

Project Details


1. ABSTRACT This proposal seeks to acquire a state-of-the-art thermal characterization instrument to substantially enhance our ability of collaborative and interdisciplinary research and education in dielectric polymers and nanocomposites for high-temperature high-energy-density capacitors. High-performance capacitors are a crucial class of energy storage devices to meet DoD's future pulsed power, power conditioning, and energy needs. The proposed thermal characterization instrument enables the characterization of a series of thermal properties such as thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity and volumetric heat capacity of thin films over a wide range of sample dimensions and temperatures. The thermal conductivity of dielectric materials plays a key role in determining the discharged energy density, charge-discharge efficiency, lifetime and operational temperature of capacitors, which has been traditionally overlooked. The requested instrument provides an unprecedented access to the development of novel dielectric materials, investigation of correlations between materials structure, dielectric properties and thermal conductivity, and elucidation of the key factors of dielectric materials that govern capacitor performance, especially at elevated temperatures. Comparable instrument is unavailable at Penn State. The requested instrument will bring entirely new material characterization capability on campus to the benefit of researchers and students at Penn State. The requested instrument will serve as an important piece of infrastructure for material research both at Penn State and in the ONR Capacitor program where the PI has been collaborating with various research groups in the program, including Profs. Joe Perry (Georgia Tech), Eric Baer and Lei Zhu (Case Western), Qiming Zhang (Penn State), and Shihai Zhang (PolyK Technologies). These efforts represent an important long-term investment in exploring new energy materials for better service to the critical needs of DoD. The proposed instrument will also be an important resource for student training, education efforts and outreach programs, allowing undergraduate and graduate audience to be exposed to the latest thermal characterization technique.
Effective start/end date9/18/15 → …


  • U.S. Navy: $63,000.00


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