Electrical and Computer Engineering ETDs

Publication Date



In an effort to develop transmission lines with higher energy storage capabilities for compact pulsed power applications, the electrical breakdown strength (BDS) of ceramic dielectrics, particularly titanium oxide and ceramic/epoxy composite materials, are being characterized and studied. Results of research to-date show that the dense titania ceramics with nanocrystalline grain size (~200 nm) exhibit significantly higher electrical BDS as compared to ceramics made using coarse grain (micron grain size) materials when tested under DC conditions. We have performed pulsed testing under similar electric field stresses and found comparable behavior. Furthering the research has led to find the electrical BDS of materials such as ceramic/epoxy composites. These materials seem to be more flexible, robust, and might have increased electrical BDS as compared to dense titania ceramics. The powders are available with nominal particle sizes of 50 nm to 400 nm. The crystalline ceramic powders have uniform spherical morphology, precise stoichiomtery, Ba to Ti ratio, and high ceramic purity. The effects of rise time and fall time of high voltage pulsed power on the breakdown of the ceramic/epoxy composite material will also be the focus of interest. The purpose of this study was to describe test results, review the statistics that are used to analyze the data, and relate the understanding to what has been accumulated in the literature to-date in the context of dielectric breakdown and electrical BDS in such types of materials.


Breakdown (Electricity), Pulsed power systems, Titanium dioxide--Electric properties, Ceramic-matrix composites--Electric properties, Electric insulators and insulation--Epoxy resins


AFOSR/DoD MURI grant on compact pulsed power

Document Type




Degree Name

Electrical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Gilmore, Mark

Second Committee Member

Christodoulou, Christos