The development of DNA-based bio-polymer hybrid thin films for capacitor applications

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Materials Engineering


Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering


Advisor: P. Terrence Murray


Polymer materials are widely used as insulation materials in electric circuits, power generation and energy storage applications. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) based bio-polymer hybrids described in this research have been found to display interesting electrical characteristics, such as a relatively high dielectric constant, good electrical resistivity and high voltage dielectric breakdown behavior. These characteristics are comparable to current state of the art polymer materials and have been shown to be promising as insulating dielectrics for capacitor applications. This investigation describes the processing, test structure design and fabrication, and electrical characterization of DNA based hybrids for dielectric applications. Salmon DNA hybrid films incorporating sol-gel derived ceramic materials have relatively high dielectric constants and higher environmental stability compared to DNA-only films. Thin film devices were fabricated and an in-depth dielectric characterization was performed, demonstrating stability in measured dielectric values, k>5 (1kHz) and reliability in voltage breakdown measurements, attaining values consistently > 300V/æm. This research is focused on the processing, fabrication and characterization of a new DNA-based bio-polymer hybrid material for dielectric applications. This material has been processed and optimized specifically for capacitor applications. Capacitor test structures have been fabricated using the DNA-hybrid material. Layered devices have also been designed, fabricated and characterized. Several device architectures have been characterized for dielectric properties, investigating frequency and temperature dependence, leakage current, voltage breakdown, and polarization measurements for energy storage and efficiency. Dielectric applications of DNA bio-polymer hybrid materials have been investigated and their unique fabrication challenges have been addressed.


Biopolymers Design and construction, Biopolymers Electric properties, Dielectric films Electric properties, Capacitors, Electrical Engineering; Materials Science; bio-polymer; dielectric; DNA-based; thin-films; capacitors; high energy density

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Copyright © 2013, author