Dielectric capacitors can store and release electric energy at ultrafast rates and are extensively studied for applications in electronics and electric power systems. Among various candidates, thin films based on relaxor ferroelectrics, a special kind of ferroelectric with nanometer-sized domains, have attracted special attention because of their high energy densities and efficiencies. We show that high-energy ion bombardment improves the energy storage performance of relaxor ferroelectric thin films. Intrinsic point defects created by ion bombardment reduce leakage, delay low-field polarization saturation, enhance high-field polarizability, and improve breakdown strength. We demonstrate energy storage densities as high as ~133 joules per cubic centimeter with efficiencies exceeding 75%. Deterministic control of defects by means of postsynthesis processing methods such as ion bombardment can be used to overcome the trade-off between high polarizability and breakdown strength.
Intrinsic Polymer Dielectrics for High Energy Density and Low Loss Electric Energy Storage
High energy density, high temperature, and low loss polymer dielectrics are highly desirable for electric energy storage, e.g., film capacitors in the power electronics of electric vehicles and high-speed trains. Fundamentally, high polarization and low dielectric loss are two conflicting physical properties, because more polarization processes will involve more loss mechanisms. As such, we can only achieve a delicate balance between high dielectric constant and reasonably low loss. This review focuses on achieving low dielectric loss while trying to enhance dielectric constants for dielectric polymers, which can be divided into two categories: extrinsic and intrinsic. For extrinsic dielectric systems, the working mechanisms include dipolar (e.g., nanodielectrics) and space charge (e.g., ion gels) interfacial polarizations. These polarizations do not increase the intrinsic dielectric constants, but cause decreased breakdown strength and increased dielectric loss for polymers. For intrinsic dielectric polymers, the dielectric constant originates from electronic, atomic (or vibrational), and orientational polarizations, which are intrinsic to the polymers themselves. Because of the nature of molecular bonding for organic polymers, the dielectric constant from electronic and atomic polarizations is limited to 2-5 for hydrocarbon-based insulators (i.e., band gap > 4 eV). It is possible to use orientational polarization to enhance intrinsic dielectric constant more »
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- Progress in polymer science
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- National Science Foundation
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