Axel Mellinger
Axel MellingerAssociate Professor
​Physics
Dow Science Complex 223
989-774-3336


​​Education
  • Physics Diploma, Technische Universität München, 1992
  • Ph.D., Physics, Max-Planck Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany, 1995
  • Habilitation, Department of Physics, University of Potsdam, 2005
Research Fields
  • Ferroelectret polymers: new concepts for piezoelectric sensors and actuators
  • Non-destructive 3D space-charge and polarization tomography
  • Polymer-dispersed liquid crystals with ferroelectric host polymers
  • Microscopic mechanisms of charge storage in electret polymers
  • Photo- and thermally stimulated discharge currents in charge-storing fluorinated and cycloolefin polymers
Research Projects
  • ​​Dielectric barrier discharges in ferroelectret polymers. Ferroelectrets (i.e., charged cellular polymers) are rendered piezoelectric by means of barrier discharges inside the air-filled voids. Unlike traditional piezoceramics, they are mechanically flexible and can be manufactured to cover large areas. However, much remains to be learned about the microscopic processes of charging and charge-trapping. Achieving this goal requires a multi-technique approach, combining spectroscopic plasma diagnostics with space-charge mapping and electromechanical characterization techniques.
  • Non-destructive 3D space-charge and polarization tomography. The ability to accurately and non-destructively measure polarization and space-charge distributions is of prime importance in the research on electrets and organic electronics. Applications include the accumulation of space charge in high-voltage cable insulations, the ​development and optimization of pyroelectric and piezoelectric sensors, and basic research into the mechanisms of charge storage in electret polymers.
Selected Publications
  • R. Singh and A. Mellinger, "Measurement of through-thickness thermal diffusivity of thermoplastics using thermal wave method", Indian J. Phys., DOI 10.1007/s12648-014-0579-2 (2014).
  • S. Harris and A. Mellinger, "Towards a better understanding of dielectric barrier discharges in ferroelectrets: Paschen breakdown fields in micrometer sized voids", J. Appl. Phys. 115, 163302 (2014).
  • S. Aryal and A. Mellinger, "Resolution-enhanced polarization imaging with focused thermal pulses", J. Appl. Phys. 114, 154109 (2013).
  • M. Al-Omari, K. Sel, A. Mueller, A. Mellinger and T. Kaya, "The effect of Na+ and K+ doping on the properties of sol-gel deposited 2-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone thin films", J. Appl. Phys. 113, 204901 (2013).​
  • S. Harris and A. Mellinger, "Simulation of Space Charge Deposition by Barrier Discharges in Piezoelectric Polymer Foams," Appl. Phys. A 107, 553-558 (2012).
  • A. Mellinger and R. Stoyan, "The Cambridge Photographic Star Atlas," ISBN 978-1107013469, Cambridge University Press, 2011.
  • A. Mellinger and O. Mellinger, "Breakdown Threshold of Dielectric Barrier Discharges in Ferroelectrets: Where Paschen's Law Fails," IEEE Trans. Diel. Electr. Insul. 18(1), 43-48 (2011).
  • X. Qiu, R. Gerhard and A. Mellinger, "Turning Polymer Foams or Polymer-Film Systems into Ferroelectrets: Dielectric Barrier Discharges in the Voids," IEEE Trans. Diel. Electr. Insul., 18(1), 34-42 (2011).
  • X. Qiu, R. Gerhard and A. Mellinger, "In-situ Acoustical Investigation of the Polarization Build-up in Cellular Polypropylene Ferroelectrets," IEEE Trans. Diel. Electr. Insul. 17(4), 1043-1049 (2010).
  • R. Flores-Suárez, L.M. Ganesan, W. Wirges, R. Gerhard and A. Mellinger, "Imaging Liquid Crystals Dispersed in a Ferroelectric Polymer Matrix by Means of Thermal-pulse Tomography," IEEE Trans. Diel. Electr. Insul. 17(4), 1123-1127 (2010).
  • L. M. Ganesan, W. Wirges , A. Mellinger and R. Gerhard, "Piezo-optical and electro-optical behaviour of nematic liquid crystals dispersed in a ferroelectric copolymer matrix", J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 43, 015401 (2010).
  • A. Mellinger, “A Color All-Sky Panorama Image of the Milky Way”, Publ. Astron. Soc. Pacific 121, 1180-1187 (2009).