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Charge trapping and detrapping in polymeric materials: Trapping parameters

American Institute of Physics


Space charge formation in polymeric materials can cause some serious concern for design engineers as the electric field may severely be distorted, leading to part of the material being overstressed. This may result in material degradation and possibly premature failure at the worst. It is therefore important to understand charge generation, trapping, and detrapping processes in the material. Trap depths and density of trapping states in materials are important as they are potentially related to microstructure of the material. Changes in these parameters may reflect the aging taken place in the material. In the present paper, characteristics of charge trapping and detrapping in low density polyethylene (LDPE) under dc electric field have been investigated using the pulsed electroacoustic (PEA) technique. A simple trapping and detrapping model based on two trapping levels has been used to qualitatively explain the observation. Numerical simulation based on the above model has been carried out to extract parameters related to trapping characteristics in the material. It has been found that the space charge decaying during the first few hundred seconds corresponding to the fast changing part of the slope was trapped with the shallow trap depth 0.88 eV, with trap density 1.47 × 1020 m−3 in the sample volume measured. At the same time, the space charge that decays at longer time corresponding to the slower part of the slope was trapped with the deep trap depth 1.01 eV, with its trap density 3.54 × 1018 m−3. The results also indicate that trap depths and density of both shallow and deep traps may be used as aging markers as changes in the material will certainly affect trapping characteristics in terms of trap depth and density.

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