Double-layer materials with one layer being a polyethylene (PE) film and the other layer a multi-wall carbon nanotube (MWCNT)/cyanate ester (CE) resin composite, PE-MWCNT/CE, were prepared. They have high dielectric constant and extremely low dielectric loss. For comparison, MWCNT/CE composites with different contents of MWCNTs were also prepared. Results show that the two kinds of materials have greatly different dielectric properties. With the same content of MWCNTs, the PE-MWCNT/CE material shows a higher dielectric constant and much lower dielectric loss than the MWCNT/CE composite. More specifically, the dielectric constant and loss tangent at 10 Hz of the PE-MWCNT/CE material with 0.5 wt.% MWCNTs are respectively 168 and 0.006, about 1.4 and 2.5 × 10-5times the values of the corresponding MWCNT/CE composite. The nature behinds these interesting data was detected from the space charge polarization effect and equivalent circuits. The mechanism for the unique dielectric behavior of the PE-MWCNT/CE materials is that the presence of PE film not only reinforces the space charge polarization, but also subdues the leakage current. On the other hand, based on the discussion on the Cole-Cole plots, an effective method is developed to accurately calculate the relaxation time of space charge polarization in electric conductor/polymer materials. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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