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Unformatted text preview: Proposed Plan of Research Introduction and Objectives As renewable energy industry is growing at a fast pace, there is need to develop materials with high electric energy density to effectively store the energy generated by natural sources. High-energy density capacitors are showing great promise as candidates for large electrical energy storage. At present, various organic materials such as polystyrene, polycarbonate, and certain ferroelectric polymers are used as dielectrics in capacitors due to their large breakdown voltages (E b ). The maximum energy stored in these capacitors (U max = 0.5 o kE b 2 ), however, is limited due to their relatively low dielectric constant (k), typically less than 10. The effective dielectric constant of above-mentioned organic materials can be enhanced by embedding high-k oxide nanoparticles (NPs), such as TiO 2 and BaTiO 3 . Furthermore, based on simple mixture rule, the permittivity of the polymer-based nanocomposites can be drastically increased if the high-k fillers are oriented normal to the electrodes of the capacitors. Therefore, it is promising to generate high energy density capacitors using polymer-based nanocomposites if the orientation of the high-k fillers can be macroscopically controlled in the films. Proposed Plan of Research, Methods, and Preliminary Results During my graduate research, I have successfully generated a rich library of hierarchically self-assembled nanostructures using diblock copolymer (di-BCP)-based supramolecules. These nanostructures can act as scaffolds to direct the assembly of NPs in nanocomposite thin films. The supramolecules are constructed by attaching 3-pentadecylphenol (PDP) small molecules to the poly(4-vinylpyridine) block of a polystyrene- block-poly(4-vinylpyridine) (PS- b-P4VP) di- BCP by hydrogen bonding. Recently, Zhao et al. took advantage of this system to direct NP assembly in bulk....
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- Spring '10