Ultra-high discharged energy density capacitor using high aspect ratio Na0.5Bi0.5TiO3 nanofibers
Ceramic/polymer nanocomposites are attractive for energy storage applications due to their ability to exploit the high permittivity of ceramic fillers and high breakdown strength of the polymer matrix. One challenge for the development of high performance nanocomposites based on ceramic particulates or fibers in a polymer matrix is that they often require a high volume fraction (>50%) to achieve a high permittivity, which is often at the expense of a reduction in dielectric strength and mechanical flexibility. In this paper we demonstrate by both experiment and finite element simulation that high aspect ratio nanofiber fillers offer an effective approach to achieve high energy density and dielectric strength. Lead-free ferroelectric Na0.5Bi0.5TiO3 (BNT) nanofibers with a high aspect ratio (>200) are synthesized by a hydrothermal method and dispersed in a poly(vinylidene difluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) (P(VDF-HFP)) matrix. The increased fraction of β-phase and the alignment of BNT nanofibers perpendicular to the direction of the applied electric field lead to an enhanced dielectric strength, compared to spherical BNT/P(VDF-FHP) nanoparticles and pure P(VDF-HFP), and experimental measurements are compared with numerical simulations. The results demonstrate that the nanofiber nanocomposites exhibited an ultra-high discharged energy density (12.7 J cm−3) and provide an innovative approach to produce high-energy storage density materials.