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Title: The use of Raman microprobe spectroscopy in the analysis of electrically aged polymeric insulators
Author: Freebody, Nicola
ISNI:       0000 0004 2731 2549
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2012
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Due to its applications in high voltage insulation, a thorough understanding of the chemical reactions that occur during electrical ageing in polymers is needed. A confocal Raman microscope has a potential lateral resolution of ~1μm along both the lateral and optic axes and is able to characterise the localised chemical composition of a material; for this reason, it has been applied in the study of electrical ageing in solid dielectrics. Due to inaccurate assumptions about the optical processes involved in confocal Raman microprobe spectroscopy (CRMS), however, the exact characterisation of the processes and chemicals involved has previously proven to be difficult. The objective of this study is to apply the technique of Raman microprobe spectroscopy in the analysis of the chemical structures of electrically aged polymers. It was found that, with the application of immersion oil and by using a refined version of a model of CRMS which is based on a photon scattering approach; CRMS is a valuable tool in the study of polymers. More accurate results can be obtained, however, by revealing the feature in question to the surface and applying non confocal Raman microprobe spectroscopy (RMS). CRMS was applied to a variety of polymeric samples containing electrically aged voids and electrical trees. Results showed that within the electrically aged voids, chemical signatures similar to those previously found in electrical trees in PE can be found. Finally, a variety of polymeric insulators was subjected to spark ageing and corona discharge. The by-products of these ageing mechanisms were then characterized using RMS in an attempt to reproduce in bulk the chemical compounds formed in electrical treeing. The resulting Raman spectra indicated that the same by-products as those formed in voids and trees are indeed formed. Where possible all results were compared to comparative data obtained using Fourier transform infra red (FTIR) spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and discussed in relation to previously published work.
Supervisor: Vaughan, Alun ; Golosnoy, Igor Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science