Dielectric studies of molecules and intramolecular relaxation processes

  • W.F. Hassell

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


A new bridge technique for the measurement of the dielectric absorption of liquids and solutions at microwave frequencies has been described and its accuracy assessed. 'l'he dielectric data of the systems studied is discussed in terms of the relaxation processes contributing to the dielectric absorption and the apparent dipole moments.
Pyridine, thiophen and furan in solution have a distribution of relaxation times which may be attributed to the small size of the solute molecules relative to the solvent. Larger rigid molecules in solution were characterized by a single relaxation time as would be
anticipated from theory.
The dielectric data of toluene, ethyl-, isopropyl- and t-butylbenzene as pure liquids and in solution were described by two relaxation times, one identified with molecular re-orientation and a shorter relaxation time.· The subsequent work was investigation of the possible explanations of this short relaxation process.
Comparable short relaxation times were obtained from the analysis of the dielectric data of solutions of p-chloro- and p-bromotoluene below 40°C, o- and m-xylene at 25°C and 1-methyl- and 2 methylnaphthalene at 50 C. Rigid molecules of similar shapes and sizes were characterized by a single relaxation time identified with molecular re-orientation. Contributions from a long relaxation process attributed to dipolar origins were reported for solutions of nitrobenzene, benzonitrile and p-nitrotoluene. A short relaxation process of possible dipolar origins contributed to the dielectric absorption of 4-methyl- and 4-t-butylpyridine in cyclohexane at 25°C.
It was concluded that the most plausible explanation of the short relaxation process of the alkyl-aryl hydrocarbons studied appears to be intramolecular relaxation about the alkyl-aryl bond.
Finally the mean relaxation times of some phenylsubstituted compounds were investigated to evaluate any shortening due to contributions from the process of relaxation about the phenyl-central atom bond. The relaxation times of triphenylsilane and phenyltrimethylsilane were significantly short.
Date of AwardNov 1966
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorS. Walker (Supervisor)


  • dielectric studies
  • molecules
  • intramolecular
  • relaxation processes

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