Electric Field Induced Hopping Conductivity and Polarization in Hytrel

Steve Hart

Abstract

The focus of my 4900 research project is centered on the conductivity of Hytrel, a complex, newly-developed block co-polymer. I first began to study Hytrel during the summer of 2006, as part of the USU College of Science Mini-Grant program1. My general objective was to study the relationship between the resistivity of Hytrel and hopping conductivity. Hopping conductivity is a theory of electron transport for non-conducting solids, originally developed for amorphous semiconductors2,3. The theory will be examined in greater detail later in this document. While studying this relationship last summer, I noticed an unusual phenomenon in the Hytrel data. When subjected to an electric field, Hytrel responds very slowly. The initial response of thin-film dielectrics to an electric field is typically understood to be governed by the polarization of the polymeric chains. What I seemed to be an unusual polarization in Hytrel formed the impetus for my project.