Isidor Sauers

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Florida, United States

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Publications (21)26.43 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we report fabrication and characterisation of a nanocomposite system composed of a commercial resin and extremely small (several nanometres in diameter) titanium dioxide particles. Nanoparticles were synthesised in situ with particle nucleation occurring inside the resin matrix. In this nanodielectric fabrication method, the nanoparticle precursor was mixed to the resin solution, and the nanoparticles were in situ precipitated. Note that no high shear mixing equipment was needed to improve particle dispersion – nanoparticles were distributed in the polymer matrix uniformly since particle nucleation occurs uniformly throughout the matrix. The properties of in situ nanodielectrics are compared to the unfilled resin and an ex situ nanocomposite. We anticipate that the presented in situ nanocomposite would be employed in high-temperature superconductivity applications. In additions, the improvement shown in the dielectric breakdown indicates that conventional high-voltage components and systems can be reduced in size with novel nanodielectrics.
    No preview · Article · May 2012 · Journal of Experimental Nanoscience
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    ABSTRACT: Nanoparticles of pure and Eu-doped BaF2 have been prepared through sol-gel colloidal synthesis. In addition, BaF2-filled PMMA polymer nanocomposites were fabricated and dielectric properties were measured. The as-synthesized pure and Eu-doped BaF2 nanoparticles were analyzed by both X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy and consisted of crystalline BaF2 particles with an average diameter of 13.6 nm with a standard deviation of about ±2.4 nm. The photoluminescence properties of the pure and Eu-doped (2%, 4% and 8%) nanoparticles showed characteristic emission of Eu3+ (5D0→7FJ (J=1–4) transitions). We also measured significantly enhanced dielectric breakdown strength of up to 30% for BaF2 nanocomposites over the unfilled PMMA polymer. This study thus offers some promise of sol-gel synthesis of nanocomposite dielectrics with great potential for use as electrical insulation materials in cryogenic high-voltage applications.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Applied Physics A
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    ABSTRACT: Superhydrophobic surfaces based on polydimethyl siloxane (PDMS) were fabricated using a 50:50 PDMS-poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) blend. PDMS was mixed with PEG, and incomplete phase separation yielded a hierarchic structure. The phase-separated mixture was annealed at a temperature close to the crystallization temperature of the PEG. The PEG crystals were formed isothermally at the PDMS/PEG interface, leading to an engineered surface with PDMS spherulites. The resulting roughness of the surface was studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The PDMS spherulites, a few micrometers in diameter observed from SEM images, were found to have an undulated (rippled) surface with nanometer-sized features. The combination of micrometer- and nanometer-sized surface features created a fractal surface and increased the water contact angle (WCA) of PDMS more than 60°, resulting in a superhydrophobic PDMS surface with WCA of >160°. The active surface layer for the superhydrophobicity was approximately 100 μm thick, illustrating that the material had bulk superhydrophobicity compared to conventional fluorocarbon or fluorinated coated rough surfaces. Theoretical analysis of the fractal surface indicates that the constructed surface has a fractal dimension of 2.5, which corresponds to the Apollonian sphere packing.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Langmuir
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    ABSTRACT: A polymeric nanocomposite system (nanodielectric) was fabricated, and its mechanical properties were determined. The fabricated nanocomposite was composed of low concentrations of monodispersed titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles and an epoxy resin specially designed for cryogenic applications. The monodispersed TiO2 nanoparticles were synthesized in an aqueous solution of titanium chloride and polyethylene glycol and subsequently dispersed in a commercial-grade epoxy resin (Araldite® 5808). Nanocomposite thin sheets were prepared at several weight fractions of TiO2. The morphology of the composites, determined by transmission electron microscopy, showed that the nanoparticles aggregated to form particle clusters. The influence of thermal processing and the effect of filler dispersion on the structure–property relationships were identified by differential scanning calorimetry and dynamic mechanical analysis at a broad range of temperatures. The effect of the aggregates on the electrical insulation properties was determined by dielectric breakdown measurements. The optical properties of the nanocomposites and their potential use as filters in the ultraviolet–visible (UV–vis) range were determined by UV–vis spectroscopy. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 2011. © 2010 Society of Plastics Engineers
    No preview · Article · Jan 2011 · Polymer Engineering and Science
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    ABSTRACT: Liquid nitrogen is used as the cryogen and dielectric for many high temperature superconducting, high voltage applications. When a quench in the superconductor occurs, bubbles are generated which can affect the dielectric breakdown properties of the liquid nitrogen. Experiments were performed using plane-plane electrode geometry where bubbles were introduced into the gap through a pinhole in the ground electrode. Bubbles were generated using one or more kapton heaters producing heater powers up to 30 W. Pressure was varied from 100-250 kPa. Breakdown strength was found to be relatively constant up to a given heater power and pressure at which the breakdown strength drops to a low value depending on the pressure. After the drop the breakdown strength continues to drop gradually at higher heater power. At low heater power the breakdown strength increases with pressure nonlinearly saturating at around 200 kPa, while the breakdown strength at high heater power increases according to Paschen law indicating a gas gap breakdown which is believed to be due to the formation of vapor bridge in liquid nitrogen. The heater power at which the breakdown strength changes from that of liquid nitrogen to that of gas nitrogen increases with increasing pressure. The data can provide design constraints for high temperature superconducting fault current limiters so that the formation of a vapor bridge can be suppressed.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2010
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    ABSTRACT: Physical properties of a nanodielectric composed of in situ synthesized titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles ( ≤ 5 nm in diameter) and a cryogenic resin are reported. The dielectric losses were reduced by a factor of 2 in the nanocomposite, indicating that the presence of small TiO2 nanoparticles restricted the mobility of the polymer chains. Dielectric breakdown data of the nanodielectric was distributed over a narrower range than that of the unfilled resin. The nanodielectric had 1.56 times higher 1% breakdown probability than the resin, yielding 0.64 times thinner insulation thickness for the same voltage level, which is beneficial in high voltage engineering.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2010 · Applied Physics Letters
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    ABSTRACT: Composite materials based on polymers are used in various engineering applications due to their ability to be tailored for a specific application. As a result a composite could be selected or designed for a high performance part such as field grading applications in high voltage technology. Presently, there exists no commercially available material for electric field control. For this reason in this study we characterize a polymeric system composed of a thermoplast polymer filled with nanometer size ceramic particles. Since it is hard to tailor or to predict properties of composites theoretically, an Edisonian approach is employed. Composites with different filler weight concentrations are prepared and their dielectric performance are characterized. Impedance spectroscopy technique at a constant frequency is used to determine the dielectric properties of the composites at low temperatures. Measurement results and potential applications of the composite systems are presented.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2010
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    ABSTRACT: In this article we discuss fabrication of nanocomposites using an {\em in-situ} particle synthesis method. The nanocomposites discussed were prepared with solution based chemistry using a particle precursor mixture, which produces the nanoparticles. The nanocomposites presented were synthesized with titanium dioxide nanoparticles. The efforts of Oak Ridge National Laboratory to deliver better electrical insulation materials using nanotechnology are presented.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2010
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    ABSTRACT: Improvements in superconductor and cryogenic technologies enable novel power apparatus, e.g., cables, transformers, fault current limiters, generators, it etc., with better device characteristics than their conventional counterparts. In these applications electrical insulation materials play an important role in system weight, footprint (size), and voltage level. The trend in the electrical insulation material selection has been to adapt or to employ conventional insulation materials to these new systems. However, at low temperatures, thermal contraction and loss of mechanical strength in many materials make them unsuitable for superconducting power applications. In this paper, a widely used commercial material was characterized as a potential cryogenic dielectric. The material is used in “oven bags” which is a heat-resistant polyamide (nylon) used in cooking (produced by Reynolds®, Richmond, VA, USA). It is first characterized by Fourier transform infrared and X-ray diffraction techniques and determined to be composed of polyamide 66 (PA66) polymer. Secondly the complex dielectric permittivity and dielectric breakdown strength of the PA66 films are investigated. The dielectric data are then compared with data reported in the literature. A comparison of dielectric strength with a widely used high-temperature superconductor electrical insulation material, polypropylene-laminated paper (PPLP™ a product of Sumitomo Electric Industries, Japan), is provided. It is observed that the statistical analysis of the PA66 films yields 1% failure probability at ; this value is approximately higher than PPLP™. Comparison of the mechanical properties of PA and PPLP™ indicates that PA66 has low storage and loss moduli than PPLP™. It is concluded that PA66 may be a good candidate for cryogenic applications. Finally, a summary of dielectric properties of some of the commercial tape insulation materials and various polymers is also provided.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2009 · Cryogenics
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    ABSTRACT: A water chemistry procedure is used to synthesize titanium dioxide nanoparticles which can later be blended with a polymer to form a nanodielectric. The synthesized nanoparticles are dispersed in two grades of polyvinyl acetal (commercially available under the trade names BX-L and KS-10, manufactured by SEKISUI Chemicals). Nanocomposite materials were prepared with 15 and 33 wt% titanium dioxide. The variation of the glass transition temperature with increasing filler weight fraction is presented. The dielectric breakdown strengths of the nanodielectric samples are reported. The presented results can be employed to optimize the dielectric properties of the studied nanocomposites for potential use in cryogenic high voltage applications.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2009
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    ABSTRACT: For long cables or equipment with large capacitance it is not always possible to conduct high voltage withstand tests at 60 Hz due to limitations in charging currents of the power supply. Very low frequency (typically at a frequency of 0.1 Hz) has been used for conventional cables as a way of getting around the charging current limitation. For superconducting grid applications the same issues apply. However there is very little data at cryogenic temperatures on how materials perform at low frequency compared to 60 Hz and whether higher voltages should be applied when performing a high voltage acceptability test. Various materials including G10 (fiberglass reinforced plastic or FRP), kapton (commonly used polyimide), polycarbonate, and polyetherimide, and in liquid nitrogen alone have been tested using a step method for frequencies of 60 Hz, 0.1 Hz, and dc. The dwell time at each step was chosen so that the voltage stress time would be the same in both the 60 Hz and 0.1 Hz tests. The data indicated that, while there is a small frequency dependence for liquid nitrogen, there are significant differences for the solid materials studied.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2009
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    ABSTRACT: Non-metallic structural materials that act as an electrical insulation are needed for cryogenic power applications. One of the extensively utilized materials is glass fiber reinforced resins (GFRR) and may also be known as GFRP and FRP. They are created from glass fiber cloth that are impregnated with an epoxy resin under pressure and heat. Although the materials based on GFRR have been employed extensively, reports about their dielectric properties at cryogenic temperatures and larger thicknesses are generally lacking in the literature. Therefore to guide electrical apparatus designers for cryogenic applications, GFRR samples with different thicknesses are tested in a liquid nitrogen bath. Scaling relation between the dielectric breakdown strength and the GFFR thickness is established. Their loss tangents are also reported at various frequencies.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2009 · IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we report the dielectric properties of composite systems (nanodielectrics) made of small amounts of mono dispersed magnetic nanoparticles embedded in a polymer matrix. It is observed from the transmission electron microscope images that the matrix polymeric material is confined in approximately 100 nm size cages between particle clusters. The particle clusters are composed of separated spherical particles which comprise unconnected networks in the matrix. The dielectric relaxation and breakdown characteristics of the matrix polymeric material are altered with the addition of nanometer size cobalt iron-oxide particles. The dielectric breakdown measurements performed at 77 K showed that these nanodielectrics are potentially useful as an electrical insulation material for cryogenic high voltage applications. Finally, structural and dielectric properties of nanocomposite dielectrics are discussed to present plausible reasons for the observed low effective dielectric permittivity values in the present and similar nanodielectric systems. It is concluded that polymeric nanoparticle composites would have low dielectric permittivity regardless of the permittivity of nanoparticles are when the particles are coordinated with a low dielectric permittivity surfactant.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2009 · Applied Physics A
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    ABSTRACT: Performance of materials and their compatibility determine the size of the electrical insulation in power equipment. For this reason dielectric properties of electrical insulation materials are needed for low temperature power applications. In this work we report the dielectric properties of four polymers: polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), polyvinyl butyral resin (PVB), and polyimide (PI–Kapton®). The dielectric measurements are performed with an electrical impedance analyzer in the frequency domain. The impedances are recorded in a cryocooler in the temperature range from 45 K to 350 K. The dielectric breakdown characteristics of the polymers are measured in a liquid nitrogen bath at atmospheric pressure. It is observed that PI and PMMA dissolved in toluene have the lowest dielectric losses for temperatures lower than 100 K. PVB and PI have the smallest spread in their breakdown strength data.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2008
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    ABSTRACT: Liquid nitrogen (LN2) is commonly used both as a coolant and electrical insulation in high temperature superconductor (HTS) equipment for power applications. Hence it is necessary to know the electrical breakdown characteristics of LN2 under a variety of practical conditions. The ac breakdown and positive and negative polarity breakdown results for lightning impulse (1.2 microsecond rise time/50 microsecond fall time) are presented for LN2 using sphere to plane electrode geometry for sphere diameters of 50.8 and 101.6 mm over a gap range of 1 to 15 mm. Voltages up to 110 kVrms were studied for ac breakdown and up to 500-kV peak for impulse. In this work both the ac and impulse breakdown voltages scale approximately with distance over the limited gaps studied which is indicative of a quasi-uniform (near-uniform) electric field between sphere and plane. These measurements were conducted in a dewar which could be pressurized from 1 to 2 bar absolute which greatly reduces the spontaneous formation of bubbles that can occur in open LN2 bath experiments and thus potentially reduce the breakdown strength. Results from the pressurized system and near atmospheric pressure similar to an open bath are compared.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2008
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we report the dielectric breakdown properties of a nanocomposite, a potential electrical insulation material for cryogenic high voltage applications. The material is composed of a high molecular weight polyvinyl alcohol and nanosized in situ synthesized titanate particles. The dielectric breakdown strengths of the filled material samples, measured in liquid nitrogen, indicate a significant increase in their strengths as compared to unfilled polyvinyl alcohol. We conclude that nanometre-sized particles can be adopted as a voltage stabilization additive.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2007 · Nanotechnology
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate the electrical properties of composite materials prepared as nano- and sub-micron-scale metal-oxide particles embedded in a commercial resin. The filler particles are barium titanate and calcium copper titanate. The physical and structural characteristics of the constituents and the fabricated composites are reported. Electrical characterization of the composite samples is performed using time- and frequency-domain dielectric spectroscopy techniques. The electrical breakdown strength of samples with nano- and sub-micron-sized particles have better electrical insulation properties than the unfilled resin.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2006 · Nanotechnology
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we investigate the dielectric breakdown data of some insulating materials and focus on the applicability of the two- and three-parameter Weibull distributions. A new distribution function is also proposed. In order to assess the model distribution's trustworthiness, we employ the Monte Carlo technique and, randomly selecting data-subsets from the whole dielectric breakdown data, determine whether the selected probability functions accurately describe the breakdown data. The utility and strength of the proposed expression are illustrated distinctly by the numerical procedure. The proposed expression is shown to be a valuable alternative to the Weibull ones.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2006 · Journal of Physics D Applied Physics
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    Enis Tuncer · Isidor Sauers
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    ABSTRACT: The field of nanodielectrics has had a significant impact on voltage endurance characteristics of electrical insulation. Improved time-to-breakdown behavior, resulting in reduced aging of insulation, and enhanced thermal stability are of considerable importance in industrial applications. This chapter discusses several specific aspects of nanodielectrics and their role in the future of electrical insulation and dielectric sciences.
    Full-text · Chapter · Jan 1970
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    ABSTRACT: In situ precipitated titanium dioxide nanoparticles improve the physical properties of polymer composites. Since the pioneering work at Toyota Research Center on exfoliated montmorillonite nanoparticles in a nylon matrix, 1 extensive studies have been performed on polymer nanocomposites in an effort to better integrate organic and inorganic phases. Inorganic fillers, such as silicon and titanium oxides, are widely used because of their remarkable en-hancement of the mechanical, electrical, barrier, and flame-retardancy properties of organic polymers. The dispersion and size of the fillers determine the performance of nanocomposites and, despite numerous methods and processing conditions reported in the literature, a univer-sally simple method to scale up the distribution of nanofillers remains a challenge. A significant part of our research involves formulation of novel nanodielectrics that can withstand high electric fields and exhibit supe-rior mechanical performance. Focusing on nanocomposites operating at cryogenic temperatures, our group developed an in situ method for nucleating titanium dioxide (TiO 2) nanoparticles in polyvinyl alcohol. 4 We also applied this method to a variety of polymer matrices. 2, 5 Here, we present our recent work on a cryogenic resin filled with TiO 2 nanoparticles. 2 Using a particle-precursor solution from which TiO 2 precipitates, we nucleated nanoparticles within the cryogenic epoxy resin Araldite 5808 (Huntsman Advanced Materials Inc., USA). We fabricated nanocomposite films at low weight percentages (to avoid formation of large aggregates and interfaces. 3 The morphology and dispersion of the in situ synthesized nanoparti-cles are shown by low-and high-magnification transmission-electron-microscopy (TEM) images: see Figure 1(a) and 1(b), respectively. The TiO 2 particles (Ä5nm in diameter) are uniformly nucleated and form evenly distributed nanometer-sized clusters in the polymer matrix. This morphology differs significantly from nanocomposites obtained from conventional, ex situ synthesis that requires high shear mixing of the Figure 1. Transmission-electron-microscopy images of epoxy-resin nanocomposites show differences in nanoparticle distribution. (a) and (b) Filled with 2.5% by weight (wt%) in situ synthesized titanium diox-ide (TiO 2). 2 TiO 2 nanoparticles (c) in polyethylene glycol solution and (d) dispersed in the resin at 1wt% concentration. 3 Scale bars: (a) 5nm, (b) 1 (c) 5nm, and (d) 100nm. (Reprinted with permission. 2, 3) organic and inorganic phases. 7 Using the ex situ technique, we synthe-sized TiO 2 particles (also Ä5nm in diameter) in a polyethylene gly-col solution—see Figure 1(c)—and subsequently mixed them with the resin. The mixing process, even at low concentrations (1% by weight), resulted in the formation of aggregates of several hundred nanometers in size: see Figure 1(d).
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