Topological-structure modulated polymer nanocomposites exhibiting highly enhanced dielectric strength and energy density

Penghao Hu, Yang Shen, Yuhan Guan, Xuehui Zhang, Yuanhua Lin, Qiming Zhang, Ce Wen Nan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

382 Scopus citations


Dielectric materials with high electric energy densities and low dielectric losses are of critical importance in a number of applications in modern electronic and electrical power systems. An organic-inorganic 0-3 nanocomposite, in which nanoparticles (0-dimensional) are embedded in a 3-dimensionally connected polymer matrix, has the potential to combine the high breakdown strength and low dielectric loss of the polymer with the high dielectric constant of the ceramic fillers, representing a promising approach to realize high energy densities. However, one significant drawback of the composites explored up to now is that the increased dielectric constant of the composites is at the expense of the breakdown strength, limiting the energy density and dielectric reliability. In this study, by expanding the traditional 0-3 nanocomposite approach to a multilayered structure which combines the complementary properties of the constituent layers, one can realize both greater dielectric displacement and a higher breakdown field than that of the polymer matrix. In a typical 3-layer structure, for example, a central nanocomposite layer of higher breakdown strength is introduced to substantially improve the overall breakdown strength of the multilayer-structured composite film, and the outer composite layers filled with large amount of high dielectric constant nanofillers can then be polarized up to higher electric fields, hence enhancing the electric displacement. As a result, the topological-structure modulated nanocomposites, with an optimally tailored nanomorphology and composite structure, yield a discharged energy density of 10 J/cm3 with a dielectric breakdown strength of 450 kV mm-1, much higher than those reported from all earlier studies of nanocomposites. In the topological- structure modulated polymer nanocomposite prepared by a facile layer-by-layer process, dielectric strength and electric polarization are enhanced simultaneously, giving rise to an extractable energy density of ∼10 J/cm3, over 400% higher than that of BOPP, which is currently the benchmark dielectric.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3172-3178
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number21
StatePublished - Jun 4 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrochemistry
  • Biomaterials


Dive into the research topics of 'Topological-structure modulated polymer nanocomposites exhibiting highly enhanced dielectric strength and energy density'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this