J. Compos. Sci. | Free Full-Text

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Ternary composites of flexible thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), lead zirconate titanate (PZT), and multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) with very high dielectric permittivity (εr) and low dielectric loss (tan δ) are reported. To assess the evolution of dielectric properties with the interactions between conductive and dielectric fillers, composites were designed with a range of content for PZT (0–30 vol%) and MWCNT (0–1 vol%). The microstructure was composed of PZT-rich and segregated MWCNT-rich regions, which could effectively prevent the formation of macroscopic MWCNT conductive networks and thus reduce the high ohmic loss. Therefore, εr increased by a maximum of tenfold, reaching up to 166 by the addition of up to 1 vol% MWCNT to TPU/PZT. More importantly, tan δ remained relatively unchanged at 0.06–0.08, a similar range to that of pure TPU. εr/tan δ ratio reached 2870 at TPU/30 vol% PZT/0.5 vol% MWCNT, exceeding most of the reported values. This work demonstrates the potential of three-phase polymer/conductive filler/dielectric filler composites for efficient charge storage applications.
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