In general, a dielectric is considered as a non-conducting or insulating material (such as a ceramic or polymer used to manufacture a microelectronic device). This book describes the laws governing all dielectric phenomena.

Key Features

· A unified approach is used in describing each of the dielectric phenomena, with the aim of answering "what?", "how?" and "why" for the occurrence of each phenomenon; · Coverage unavailable in other books on ferroelectrics, piezoelectrics, pyroelectrics, electro-optic processes, and electrets; · Theoretical analyses are general and broadly applicable; · Mathematics is simplified and emphasis is placed on the physical insight of the mechanisms responsible for the phenomena; · Truly comprehensive coverage not available in the current literature.


Electrical engineers, materials engineers/scientists, instructors and graduate students working in the area of electrical and electronic materials in general and dielectrics in particular.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Electric Polarization and Relaxation. Optical and Electro-Optic Processes. Ferroelectrics, Piezoelectrics and Pyroelectrics. Electrets. Charge Carrier Injection from Electrical Contacts. Electrical Conduction and Photoconduction. Electrical Aging, Discharge and Breakdown Phenomena.


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© 2004
Academic Press
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Electronic ISBN:

About the author

Kwan Chi Kao

Kwan Chi Kao received his B.Sc. degree from the University of Nanking, M.S. degree from the University of Michigan, and his Ph.D. and D.Sc. degrees from the University of Birmingham. Dr. Kao has been a Professor at the University of Manitoba since 1966. He established the Materials and Devices Research Laboratory in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the UM. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, and a Life Member of the IEEE. Dr. Kao is the Founder of the International Conference on Properties and Applications of Dielectric Materials (ICPADM).

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Manitoba, Canada


This book, Dielectric Phenomena in Solids, would appeal to the interests of many of our readers, especially those who work with piezoelectric, ferroelectric, pyroelectric, electrets, and electro-optic solid materials. Many of the materials described would be used in sensors, microphones, pulse generators, capacitors, and electro-optical devices. More specifically, the ferroelectrics covered are ceramics, barium titinates, KDP, Rochelle salt, TGS, PZT, and PVDF. Other materials are also covered in electrets and silicon photovoltaics. The response of these types of solid dielectrics to externally applied electric fields, mechanical stress, and temperature are the main focus of this text along with a very good description of fundamental dielectric theory. With mathematical derivations keep to a minimum, the physical insight into dielectric phenomena is emphasized. This text can be broken down into three sections. While an understanding of dielectric phenomena requires a basic knowledge of electromagnetics, the beginning chapters appropriately cover the fundamentals - Maxwell’s equations, magnetization, electric polarization and relaxation, and optical/electro-optic processes. The next two chapters describe material response characteristics of ferroelectric, piezoelectric, and pyroelectric materials and electret formation. In addition to the above-mentioned materials, there are well-explained details given on piezoelectric, pyroelectric, and electret mechanisms. There are also a few applications for pyroelectric and electret materials. The remaining three chapters detail topics of charge carrier injection for electrical contacts, electrical and photoconduction, and electrical aging, discharge, and breakdown. The section on charge injection from electrodes to insulators would be of interest to those who work with any type of insulator to electrode interface. Also, for those interested in dielectric breakdown and measurem