Influence of Nanocrystalline Grain Size on the Breakdown Strength of Ceramic Dielectrics
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In an effort to develop transmission lines with higher energy storage capabilities for compact pulsed power applications, the University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR) and the University of New Mexico (UNM) have undertaken a collaborative approach to developing and studying ceramic dielectrics. At UMR, the electrical breakdown strength (BDS) of TiO2-based materials is investigated for high energy density applications. The results of research to-date show that dense titania ceramics with nanocrystalline grain size (~200 nm) exhibit significantly higher BDS as compared to ceramics made using coarse grain materials. Processing-microstructure-property relationships in TiO2 systems are found to play a role with respect to increasing the BDS. At UNM, a pulsed power system is being assembled to perform BDS studies of the ceramic materials produced at UMR. Electromagnetic simulations in support of this work will also presented. The long-term aim of this research is to enable the fabrication of large sizes of high energy density ceramics for use in pulsed power systems.