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Macromolecular Chemistry I:

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Erhard, D.P.; Lovera, D.; von Salis-Soglio, C.; Giesa, R.; Altstädt, V.; Schmidt, H.-W.: Recent Advances in the Improvement of Polymer Electret Films, Advances in Polymer Science 228, 155-207 (2010) -- DOI: 10.1007/12_2009_45
Polymer electret materials are electrically charged dielectric polymers capable of quasi-permanently retaining their electric field. However, environmental influences such as temperature and humidity reduce their charge stability and restrict applications. Therefore it is of great importance to provide a broad pool of polymer electret materials and to enhance further the charge storage behavior. In this context we report on concepts, measures, and solutions to improve the electret performance of commodity and high performance thermoplastic polymers, which was carried out at the University of Bayreuth in recent years. It is demonstrated that the commodity polymer polypropylene can be manufactured into excellent electret films when certain trisamide additives are incorporated in very low concentrations. Polypropylene can be employed at temperatures up to its continuous service temperature of 70°C. To achieve higher temperature windows we investigated the commodity blend system of poly(phenylene ether) (PPE) and polystyrene (PS). We demonstrate that especially PPE/PS blend films with a composition of 75/25 exhibit remarkably good charge storage retention during the isothermal surface decay (ITPD) tests at 120°C. In addition, the commercially available high performance thermoplastic polyetherimide (PEI) resin containing special phosphorus(III) additives shows very good electret properties at elevated temperatures. These properties can be further enhanced by physical aging; resulting in a charge retention after 24 h at 120°C as high as 95%. The same beneficial effect of physical aging can be used to advance PPE and PPE/PS blends. Polymer electret materials with such charge storage properties have the potential to be employed in microphones, sensor devices, and electret filters.
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