Surface defects both focus the local electric field and enhance its intensity in the vicinity of the defect. Using a finite element model of an inhomogeneous dielectric film, we have examined the relationship between the defect shape and local electric field in the film and defect. We find that raised defect regions that are peaked have the largest local fields while the slope of removed regions has little effect on the field in raised defects. Both peaked and flat surface defects can lead to large enhancements of the local electric field above that predicted by effective medium approximation (EMA) methods.
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This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basis Energy Sciences under contract DE-AC06-76RLO 1830. SMR acknowledges support by the National Science Foundation (Grant # CHE-9106689) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Grant # 91-NC-146) which is administered by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research through agreements with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
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Ferris, K.F., Risser, S.M. Effects of Surface Defects on the Local Electric Field in Inhomogeneous Media. MRS Online Proceedings Library 291, 521–524 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-291-521