Thermal-pulse tomography of space-charge and polarization distributions in electret polymers

Axel Mellinger, Rosaura Flores-Suárez, Rajeev Singh, Michael Wegener, Werner Wirges, Reimund Gerhard, Sidney B. Lang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


A new, non-destructive technique for the analysis of electret materials is presented. Thermal-pulse tomography produces three-dimensional images of space-charge and polarization distributions with a lateral resolution of better than 50 μm and a depth resolution of less than 0.5 μm. A focused-pulsed laser heats a circular spot on the opaque upper electrode. While diffusing through the sample, the thermal pulse causes local changes in the sample geometry or dielectric properties, resulting in a short-circuit current in the presence of space charge or electric dipoles. From the transient current, the distribution of the internal electric field can be reconstructed by means of scale transformation or regularization methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2046-2054
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Thermophysics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2008


  • Electret
  • LIMM
  • Polarization
  • Polyvinylidene fluoride
  • Space charge
  • Thermal-pulse tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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