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Voltage Stabilization

June 22, 2010

Quantum Mechanics of Hot Electrons

Q:

This is Arthas Yang (兵杨) from Shanghai, China. I am a cable design engineer. In the great presentation “Trends in Cable Rejuvenation”, the “keto-enol-tautomerism” to capture hot electrons was mentioned. However, I did not quite get the concept here: How could geranylacetone capture the hot electrons, and transfer that into an electron with lower energy? If so, where did the excess energy (initial energy of electron—final energy of electron) go?In case you have any materials that could give a detailed explanation on this, shall I bother your pardon to instruct me to refer them?

A:

I welcome questions of quantum mechanics, they give me a chance to demonstrate my depth. I am more than just a pretty face.

“Cable Rejuvenation Mechanisms” available at …

ICC Cable Rejuvenation Mechanisms

… and published at the IEEE’s Insulated Conductor Committee (ICC) in March 2006, provides a portion of the answer on page 4. However, that paper describes a class of materials called 1,3-diketones which have since been improved upon by Novinium with the introduction of geranylacetone in Cablecure 732/733 [Ultrinium™] formulations. Geranylacetone works in a similar way to the 1,3-diketones, but it receives its stability from structural resonance, not keto-enol-tautomerism. In both cases, captured electrons move from bond-to-bond within a resonant chemical structure … a bit like how a juggler moves balls from hand-to-hand. A ball ultimately returns to the same hand, but not until after it has been passed about. In the case of the balls, the juggler adds energy each time it touches her hands as she tosses it back into the air. In the case of the hot electrons there is no energy added, but rather there is a small loss of energy on some electron orbital changes. This loss of energy manifests itself as an infrared photon or as bond vibrations … in other words as heat. The high energy electron is “cooled” and ultimately released at a lower, non-damaging energy. How cool is that? My friend Johann Wartusch was awarded a German patent on this technology in 1980. A paper on the subject, “Increased Voltage Endurance of Polyolefin Insulating Materials by Means of Voltage Stabilizers” was published as an IEEE transaction paper (CHI496-9/80/0000-0216) in 1980.

From “Cable Rejuvenation Mechanisms”, Figure 3. 1,3-diketone keto-enol tautomerism and electron thermalization. R and R’ represent the balance of the diketone.