High energy density in PVDF nanocomposites using an optimized nanowire array
TiO2 nanowire arrays are often utilized to prepare high performance polymer nanocomposites, however, the contribution to the energy density is limited due to their non-ferroelectric characteristics. A nanocomposite with an optimized nanowire array combining the ferroelectric properties of lead zirconate titanate (PZT) with TiO2, readily forming nanowires (denoted as a TiO2-P nanowire array), is prepared to enhance the permittivity. Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) is used as the polymer matrix due to its high breakdown strength, e.g. 600–700 kV mm−1. As a result, the permittivity and breakdown electric field reach 53 at 1 kHz and 550 kV mm−1, respectively. Therefore, the nanocomposites achieve a higher discharge energy density of 12.4 J cm−3 with excellent cycle stability, which is the highest among nanocomposites based on a nanowire array as a filler in a PVDF matrix. This work provides not only a feasible approach to obtain high performance dielectric nanocomposites, but also a wide range of potential applications in the energy storage and energy harvesting fields.