Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering


Wei Xue, Ph.D. & Robert R. Krchnavek, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

Francis Haas, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2

Behrad Koohbor, Ph.D.


high-temperature superconductors, polymer nanocomposites, silicon dioxide, cryogenic dielectrics, cable coatings


Electric cables--Insulation; Power transmission--Efficiency


Electrical and Computer Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


In this thesis, three polymer nanocomposite configurations are fabricated for investigation as dielectrics in helium-cooled high-temperature superconducting (HTS) cables. Polyimide, polyamide, and polymethyl methacrylate are utilized as host polymers. The composite samples are synthesized through an in situ process, dispersing silicon dioxide nanoparticles throughout the polymer hosts. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy were employed to validate the synthesis of each composite configuration. Thin film samples of each configuration were also tested for their dielectric strength at both room (300 K) and cryogenic (92 K) temperatures. When going from room to cryogenic temperatures, all materials demonstrated a significant increase in dielectric strength. This increase in strength is explained through an expanded, temperature dependent breakdown model. Currently, apparatuses necessary for further material validation as cable coatings, as well as at temperatures as low as 55 K, have been designed and are being manufactured for further experimentation. The continued efforts of this research can ultimately lead to the ideal polymer nanocomposite configuration for use as an HTS cable dielectric.