Numerical Simulation on DC Breakdown of Polyimide Based on Charge Transport and Molecular Chain Displacement

  • Yuwei Li
  • Chenyu Yan
  • Daomin MinEmail author
  • Shengtao Li
  • Zhaoliang Xing
  • Liangxian Zhang
  • Chong Zhang
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 598)


A DC breakdown model combining charge transport and molecular chain displacement is utilized to simulate the thickness-dependent DC electrical breakdown of polyimide and reveal the physical mechanism of DC breakdown. The free volume existing in dielectric materials provide electrons with free path to be accelerated and gain energy under the electric field. Molecular chains with occupied deep traps can be displaced by Coulomb force under electric field, furthermore, the displacement will enlarge the local free volume. The energy of electron w is determined by the local electric field F and the length of free volume λL, which can be expressed as w = eFλL. When the maximum energy of electrons exceed the deep trap energy level, the local current and temperature will rise in a surge, triggering breakdown eventually. The simulation results reveal the dynamics of space charge and electric field inside polyimide material before the DC electrical breakdown occurs. The breakdown strength Fb of polyimide films obtained from the DC breakdown model decrease with an increase in sample thickness d, which satisfies an inverse power law Fb = kdn with n = 0.30. A strong dependence can be found between breakdown field and sample thickness when the influence from molecular chain displacement on free volume is taken into consideration. The simulation results indicate that the DC electrical breakdown may be the result of the interaction of space charge accumulation effect and molecular chain displacement.


DC breakdown model Polyimide Molecular chain displacement Free volume Thickness 



This work was supported by State Key Laboratory of Advanced Power Transmission Technology (Grant No. GEIRI-SKL-2018-010), the National Basic Research Program of China (grant No. 2015CB251003), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant No. 51507124).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuwei Li
    • 1
  • Chenyu Yan
    • 1
  • Daomin Min
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shengtao Li
    • 1
  • Zhaoliang Xing
    • 2
  • Liangxian Zhang
    • 3
  • Chong Zhang
    • 3
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Electrical Insulation for Power EquipmentXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Laboratory of Advanced Power Transmission TechnologyGlobal Energy Interconnection Research Institute Co., Ltd.BeijingChina
  3. 3.XIAN XD Transformer Co., Ltd.Xi’anChina

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