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Performance Metrics for a Modern BOPP Capacitor Film

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1229-1237
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


In this paper, a set of performance metrics for modern biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) capacitor films is established. The fundamental and applied properties of BOPP films required for application in state-of-the-art DC metallized film capacitors are reviewed, highlighting aspects related to high temperature operation, base PP properties and film processing. Commercial BOPP films—both base films and metallized films based on classic isotactic PP—are studied comprehensively, encompassing structural–morphological characterization and short- to medium-term dielectric characterization. Dielectric spectroscopy results demonstrate the negligible dielectric losses of BOPP, being in the range of 10−4 or less in the expected operation temperature regime. Thermally stimulated depolarization current (TSDC) measurements indicated a modest density of shallow traps (~0.75 eV) and a high density
of deep traps (~1.08 eV) in the 5 µm and 10 µm film variants showing differences presumably arising from film processing. Such an electronic structure was found to be connected with ultra-low conductivity (in the range of 10-17–10-16 S/m), high breakdown strength (~700 V/µm) and negligible space charge accumulation up to temperatures of ~70 °C. It is shown that at current design stresses (~200 V/µm at ~60 °C) BOPP is operated close to its fundamental thermal and electrical limitations. Voltage endurance tests at higher fields revealed the onset of high-field degradation and drastically reduced insulation life, and thermal activation of deep traps in the high temperature region (~100 °C) was found to result in reduced dielectric performance.

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