Polymer-Ceramic Nanocomposites for Pulsed Power Capacitors

Period of Performance: 01/01/2007 - 12/31/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Sienna Technologies, Inc.
19501 144th Avenue NE Array
Woodinville, WA 98072
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Future solid-state pulse power systems for high energy physics research will require high-energy-density energy storage capacitors. Polymer-ceramic composites with a high-dielectric-breakdown-strength polymer matrix and high-dielectric-constant nanocrystalline ceramic dielectric powders theoretically could be used as the dielectrics in these pulse power capacitors. However, the compositions and the dielectric properties of the polymer-ceramic composites may be far from the optimal because of processing difficulties. Namely, it is difficult to introduce and uniformly distribute nanocrystalline ceramic powders into polymer matrix, due to the high viscosity (500-1000 cPs) of the polymers. This project will use a novel dispersion technique to disperse nanosize ceramic powders in polymers, in order to produce polymer-ceramic nanocomposites for pulsed power capacitors. Phase I will produce polymer-ceramic nanocomposite dielectrics by dispersing high dielectric constant nanocrystalline ceramic powders in high-breakdown-strength polymers. Then prototype capacitors will be fabricated, and the dc and pulsed power characteristics of the polymer-ceramic nanocomposite capacitors will be tested. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: Applications for pulsed power systems are becoming more widespread, from homeland security to medical, transportation, and environmental clean-up. Examples include electric drives in large traction train systems, variable speed motor drives, solid-state switch snubbers, electronic ballasts in lighting systems, municipal water and waste treatment, flash X-rays for medicine, surface modification and materials forming, and radar modulators.