Compositional tailoring effect on electric field distribution for significantly enhanced breakdown strength and restrained conductive loss in sandwich-structured ceramic/polymer nanocomposites†
Compared to conventional single-layered thin films, spatial organization of the polymer matrix and ceramic nanofillers into three-dimensional sandwich structures is a promising route to dielectric materials for enhanced energy storage properties (ESPs) that enable the dielectric capacitors for a number of applications in advanced electronic and electrical power systems. In this study, a systematic study of the sandwich-structured ceramic/polymer nanocomposites composed of pristine poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) as the middle layer and barium titanate (BT)/PVDF nanocomposites as two outer layers has been presented. Experimental results indicate that the ESP of the sandwich BT/PVDF composites, including breakdown strength, discharge efficiency, and energy density, can be significantly improved by tailoring the BT content. As verified by finite element simulations, the ESP of sandwich films is mainly governed by the electric field distribution owing to the introduction of high-dielectric-constant BT into the layered structures. The rational design of BT content leads to the electric field distribution capable of enhancing the dielectric strength and reducing the electrical conductivity for high energy density and improved discharge efficiency. An ultrahigh energy density of 16.2 J cm−3 has been achieved at the breakdown strength of 410 MV m−1 in the optimized sandwich-structured nanocomposites. The understanding of the influence of filler content on electric field distribution achieved in this work provides a viable way for exploiting novel layered dielectrics with exceptional ESPs for energy storage devices.