Heating liquid dielectrics by time dependent fields

A. Khalife, U. Pathak, Ranko Richert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Steady state and time-resolved dielectric relaxation experiments are performed at high fields on viscous glycerol and the effects of energy absorption from the electric field are studied. Time resolution is obtained by a sinusoidal field whose amplitude is switched from a low to a high level and by recording voltage and current traces with an oscilloscope during this transition. Based on their distinct time and frequency dependences, three sources of modifying the dynamics and dielectric loss via an increase in the effective temperature can be distinguished: electrode temperature, real sample temperature, and configurational temperatures of the modes that absorbed the energy. Isothermal conditions that are desired for focusing on the configurational temperature changes (as in dielectric hole burning and related techniques) are maintained only for very thin samples and for moderate power levels. For high frequencies, say ν > 1 MHz, changes of the real temperature will exceed the effects of configurational temperatures in the case of macroscopic samples. Regarding microwave chemistry, heating via cell phone use, and related situations in which materials are subject to fields involving frequencies beyond the MHz regime, we conclude that changes in the configurational (or fictive) temperatures remain negligible compared with the increase of the real temperature. This simplifies the assessment of how time dependent electric fields modify the properties of materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-435
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Physical Journal B
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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