Super Dielectric Materials
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Evidence is provided here that a class of materials with dielectric constants greater than 10⁵ at low frequency (<10¯² Hz), herein called super dielectric materials (SDM), can be generated readily from common, inexpensive materials. Specifically it is demonstrated that high surface area alumina powders, loaded to the incipient wetness point with a solution of boric acid dissolved in water, have dielectric constants, near 0 Hz, greater than 4 × 10⁸ in all cases, a remarkable increase over the best dielectric constants previously measured for energy storage capabilities, ca. 1 × 10⁴. It is postulated that any porous, electrically insulating material (e.g., high surface area powders of silica, titania, etc.), filled with a liquid containing a high concentration of ionic species will potentially be an SDM. Capacitors created with the first generated SDM dielectrics (alumina with boric acid solution), herein called New Paradigm Super (NPS) capacitors display typical electrostatic capacitive behavior, such as increasing capacitance with decreasing thickness, and can be cycled, but are limited to a maximum effective operating voltage of about 0.8 V. A simple theory is presented: Water containing relatively high concentrations of dissolved ions saturates all, or virtually all, the pores (average diameter 500 Å) of the alumina. In an applied field the positive ionic species migrate to the cathode end, and the negative ions to the anode end of each drop. This creates giant dipoles with high charge, hence leading to high dielectric constant behavior. At about 0.8 V, water begins to break down, creating enough ionic species to “short” the individual water droplets. Potentially NPS capacitor stacks can surpass “supercapacitors” in volumetric energy density.
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma7128197
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