Electrical Insulation Research Center

Electrical Insulation Research Center

The Electrical Insulation Research Center has extensive facilities for characterizing the electrical properties of insulating materials used in electrical apparatus including distribution and transmission networks, rotating machinery component, electrostatic/electro-responsive devices, and capacitive energy storages.


General Contact




JoAnne Ronzello

Research Assistant, Lab Manager

Faculty Scientific Advisers


Yang Cao, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Gant Room 105A


Campus Address

Institute of Materials Science
Storrs Campus

Mailing Address

97 North Eagleville Road
Storrs, CT 06269-3136



Broadband Dielectric Spectroscope

Combining the time-domain technique with frequency-domain spectroscope comprises a Broadband Dielectric Spectroscope System for measuring various polarization/relaxation processes, conductivity and electrochemical impedance over a wide range of frequency and temperature. The Time Domain Technique provides one of the best ways of measuring the conductivity of polymeric samples, while frequency domain impedance analyzers extend the measurement frequency range to 1GHz.


Modified Sawyer-Tower Ferroelectric Tester

A modified Sawyer-Tower ferroelectric tester is available for the measurement of the P-E loop of a ferroelectric device, i.e., the charge or polarization developed against the electric field at a given frequency. The setup is designed for polarization study under high electric field (+/-10kV) at frequency up to 1kHz.


Pulsed Electroacoustic Space Charge Profiling

This Pulsed Electroacoustic Space Charge Profiling technique can measure high field charge injection and conduction for both flat coupon and cylindrical sample (power cables) with a spatial resolution of 5 micron. Higher resolution can be achieved with lithium niobate based sensory.


High Field Conduction-Guarded Needle

Carrier mobility-related prebreakdown phenomena can only be studied within microscopic dimensions, as the power dissipation would cause thermal runaway for a macroscopic geometry. The guarded needle apparatus is designed for such measurement, using a sharp metal needle to create local high electrical field, which induces carrier mobility.


Thermal Conductivity Meter

The DTC-300 measures thermal conductivity of a variety of materials, including polymers, ceramics, composites, glasses, rubbers, some metals, and other materials of low to medium thermal conductivity. Only a relatively small test specimen is required. Nonsolids, such as pastes or liquids, can be tested using special containers. Thin films can also be tested accurately using a multilayer technique.


Other Equipment

  • High Voltage Test Transformers
  • Partial Discharge System
  • High Frequency/High Temperature Aging
  • Tracking Resistance
  • HV Switchers for Pulse Discharge Energy Density Characterization
  • Automatic Film Breakdown Tester
  • Digital (Stanford Research Systems SR830) and Analog Lock-in Amplifiers
  • High voltage Capacitance and Tan-delta Bridge
  • Salt-Fog and Clean-Fog Chamber
  • Tektronics Oscilloscopes (200 MHz to 1 GHz)
  • Keithley fA meters