Theory of Electrical Breakdown in a Nanocomposite Capacitor

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The electrostatic field in a nanocomposite represented by spherical nanoparticles (NPs) embedded into a dielectric between two parallel metallic electrodes is derived from first principles. The NPs are modeled by point dipoles which possess the polarizability of a sphere, and their image potential in the electrodes is found using a dyadic Green’s function. The derived field is used to obtain the parameters which characterize the electrical breakdown in a nanocomposite capacitor. It is found, in particular, that for relatively low volume fractions of NPs, the breakdown voltage linearly decreases with the volume fraction, and the slope of this dependence is explicitly found in terms of the dielectric permittivities of the NPs and the dielectric host. The corresponding decrease in the maximum energy density accumulated in the capacitor is also determined. A comparison with the experimental data on the breakdown strength in polymer films doped with BaTiO3 NPs available in the literature reveals a dominant role of the interface polarization at the NP-polymer interface and an existence of a nonferroelectric surface layer in NPs. This research provides a rigorous approach to the
electrical breakdown phenomenon and can be used for a proper design of nanocomposite capacitors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5669
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number11
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2. Jun 2022


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