The electrical properties of thin films of poly(arylene ether ketone) copolymers (co-PAEKs) with a fraction of phthalide-containing units of 3, 5, and 50 mol% in the main chain were investigated by using radiation-induced conductivity (RIC) measurements. Transient current signals and current-voltage (I-V) characteristics were obtained by exposing 20 ÷ 25 μm thick films of the co-PAEKs to monoenergetic electron pulses with energy ranging from 3 to 50 keV in an electric field ranging from 5 to 40 V/μm. The Rose-Fowler-Vaisberg semi-empirical model based on a multiple trapping formalism was used for an analysis of the RIC data, and the parameters of the highly dispersive charge carrier transport were evaluated. The analysis revealed that charge carriers moved in isolation from each other, and the applied electric fields were below the threshold field triggering the switching effect (a reversible high-to-low resistivity transition) in the co-PAEK films. It was also found that the co-PAEK films, due to the super-linear I-V characteristics, are highly resistant to electrostatic discharges arising from the effects of ionizing radiation. This property is important for the development of protective coatings for electronic devices.
Keywords: carrier mobility; co-polymer; dispersive transport; irradiation by electrons; polyarylene ether ketones; radiation induced conductivity; small-signal regime; switching effect.