Letter | Published:

Low-Frequency Dielectric Absorption in Organic Long-Chain Compounds due to the Presence of Traces of Alcohol Impurities

Naturevolume 166pages2930 (1950) | Download Citation



IN recent investigations of the electrical properties of crystalline long-chain ketones and esters1, considerable dielectric absorption has sometimes been observed at low audio-frequencies. This absorption appears to have electrical characteristics similar in all respects to the well-known low-frequency absorption which is usually attributed to ionic impurities or structural discontinuities, or a combination of the two (see, for example, ref. 2). The above measurements are now being extended to frequencies as low as 0.5 c./s., using a Schering bridge with a Lindemann electrometer as detector. The bridge is supplied with alternating potentials from a motor-driven sine–cosine potentiometer and 135-volt dry battery. Mercury electrodes with a clamped steel guard-ring are used, the electrode system being similar to, but smaller than, the one described by the Electrical Research Association3. Measurements of anomalous charging currents following the sudden application of a steady D.C. voltage are also being made, using the Lindemann electrometer in the way described by Doust and Sulston4. When possible, the steady-state D.c. conductivity (σdc) has also been obtained from the same readings.

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  1. 1

    Meakins, R. J., Aust. J. Sci. Res., A., 2, No. 3, 405 (1949).

  2. 2

    Hartshorn, L., E.R.A. Report (Ref. L./T14), J. Inst. Elect. Eng., 64, 1152 (1926).

  3. 3

    E.R.A. Report (Ref. L/T45), J. Inst. Elect. Eng., 72, 252 (1933).

  4. 4

    Doust, J. F., and Sulston, W. J., Inst. of Post Office Elect. Eng., Paper No. 165 (1938).

  5. 5

    George, P., and Robertson, A., J. Inst. Pet., 32, 382 (1946).

  6. 6

    Meakins, R. J., and Sack, R. A., Nature, 164, 798 (1949).

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  1. National Standards Laboratory, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia

    • B. V. HAMON
    •  & R. J. MEAKINS


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