Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Michael R. Kessler


Cyanate ester-nanoparticle composites as multifunctional structural capacitors

An important goal of engineering is to increase the energy density of electrical energy storage devices used to deliver power onboard mobile platforms. Equally important is the goal to reduce the overall mass of the vehicles transporting these devices to achieve increased fuel and cost efficiency. One approach to meeting both these objectives is to develop multifunctional systems that serve as both energy storage and load bearing structural devices. Multifunctional devices consist of constituents that individually perform a subset of the overall desired functions. However, the synergy achieved by the combination of each constituents characteristics allows for system-level benefits that cannot be achieved by simply optimizing the separate subsystems.

We investigated multifunctional systems consisting of light weight polymer matrix and high dielectric constant fillers to achieve these objectives. The monomer of bisphenol E cyanate ester exhibited excellent processing ability because of its low room temperature viscosity. Additionally, the fully cured thermoset demonstrated excellent thermal stability, specific strength and stiffness. Fillers, including multi-walled carbon nanotubes, nanometer scale barium titanate and nanometer scale calcium copper titanate, offer high dielectric constants that raised the effective dielectric constant of the polymer matrix composite. The combination of high ε' and high dielectric strength produce high energy density components exhibiting increased electrical energy storage. Mechanical (load bearing) improvements of the PMCs were attributed to covalently bonded nanometer and micrometer sized filler particles, as well as the continuous glass fiber, integrated into the resin systems which increased the structural characteristics of the cured composites. Breakdown voltage tests and dynamic mechanical analysis were employed to demonstrate that precise combinations of these constituents, under the proper processing conditions, can satisfy the needs presented by the aerospace industry and military forces.


Copyright Owner

José Eliseo De León



File Format


File Size

117 pages