Alkali-free glass as a high energy density dielectric material

Nicholas J. Smith, Badri Rangarajan, Michael T. Lanagan, Carlo G. Pantano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


One of the greatest challenges in the development of new high energy density materials is to increase dielectric permittivity while maintaining high breakdown strength. The dielectric breakdown behavior of an alkali-free barium boroaluminosilicate glass is shown to have remarkably high DC dielectric breakdown strength (12 MV/cm) and reasonably high permittivity (~ 6), equating to energy densities in excess of 35 J/cm3. This behavior is attributed to highly polarizable Ba ions enhancing the real part of complex permittivity, the low loss due to the alkali-free composition, and the substantially defect-free quality of the glass and its surfaces. To our knowledge, this is the highest breakdown strength reported for a bulk glass, and rivals the breakdown strength more typically observed in pristine thin films of SiO2. These findings indicate that alkali-free multicomponent glasses may be strong candidates for next-generation high energy density storage capacitors for portable or pulsed power applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1245-1248
Number of pages4
JournalMaterials Letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - Jun 15 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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