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Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

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Dielectric relaxation due to the heterogeneous structure of wood charcoal


Delignified hinoki wood and cellulose as well as hinoki and lauan woods were carbonized at 590°C for 1 h. The dielectric properties of these specimens were measured at 20°C in a frequency range of 20 Hz to 1 MHz. Inflection points in the dielectric constant (ε′) versus the logarithm of frequency (log f) curves as well as in the logarithm of the electric conductivity (log σ) versus log f curves for all specimens prepared were recognized. Peaks in the dielectric loss and the imaginary part of the complex conductivity versus the log f curves were detected in the frequency location corresponding to the inflection point in the ε′ and log σ versus log f curves. It was considered that this relaxation was responsible for the interfacial polarization observed in heterogeneous materials because no permanent dipoles existed in the specimens carbonized above 500°C. The Cole–Cole circular arc law was applied to account for this relaxation. Similar average relaxation times were obtained for all specimens. These results suggested that the observed relaxation was ascribed to interfacial polarization at microscopic levels in the cell walls.


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Correspondence to Hiroyuki Sugimoto.

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Sugimoto, H., Norimoto, M. Dielectric relaxation due to the heterogeneous structure of wood charcoal. J Wood Sci 51, 554–558 (2005).

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Key words

  • Dielectric relaxation
  • Heterogeneous materials
  • Cole-Cole circular arc law
  • Interfacial polarization
  • Charcoal