Electrode poling of cellular polypropylene films with short high-voltage pulses
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Recently, piezoelectric cellular polypropylene (PP) was proposed as a new type of quasi-ferroelectric. The observed hysteresis of the charge density as a function of the electric field could be explained as field-dependent charging inside the gas-filled voids. Interestingly enough, the measurable poling behavior of the macroscopic dipoles formed by charges that are trapped at the internal void surfaces is phenomenologically completely identical to the cooperative poling behavior of microscopic molecular dipoles in ferroelectric polymers. Therefore, it can be assumed that charge separation (or charge redistribution) and subsequent trapping in cellular PP is a rather fast switching process. In order to examine the poling dynamics, we developed an experimental setup for pulsed poling. High-voltage pulses with a duration of 45 μs (FWHM) were applied in direct contact to two-side metallized cellular PP films. The pulsed poling yields piezoelectricity in the cellular PP. We study and discuss the dependence of the resulting piezoelectricity on the poling field. We also characterize the charge separation during application of higher electric poling fields of up to -10 kV in direct contact to the two-side metallized films for longer times.