The dielectric constant or relative static permittivity of a material represents the capacitance of the material relative to a vacuum and is important in many industrial applications. Nevertheless, accurate experimental values are often unavailable and current prediction methods lack accuracy and are often unreliable. A new QSPR (quantitative structure-property relation) correlation of dielectric constant for pure organic chemicals is developed and tested. The average absolute percent error is expected to be less than 3% when applied to hydrocarbons and non-polar compounds and less than 18% when applied to polar compounds with dielectric constant values ranging from 1.0 to 50.0. A local composition model is developed for mixture dielectric constants based on the Nonrandom-Two-Liquid (NRTL) model commonly used for correlating activity coefficients in vapor-liquid equilibrium data regression. It is predictive in that no mixture dielectric constant data are used and there are no adjustable parameters. Predictions made on 16 binary and six ternary systems at various compositions and temperatures compare favorably to extant correlations data that require experimental values to fit an adjustable parameter in the mixing rule and are significantly improved over values predicted by Oster's equation that also has no adjustable parameters. In addition, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations provide an alternative to analytic relations. Results suggest that MD simulations require very accurate force field models, particularly with respect to the charge distribution within the molecules, to yield accurate pure chemical values of dielectric constant, but with the development of more accurate pure chemical force fields, it appears that mixture simulations of any number of components are likely possible. Using MD simulations, the impact of different portions of the force field on the calculated dielectric constant were examined. The results obtained suggest that rotational polarization arising from the permanent dipole moments makes the dominant contribution to dielectric constant. Changes in the dipole moment due to angle bending and bond stretching (distortion polarization) have less impact on dielectric constant than rotational polarization due to permanent dipole alignment, with angle bending being more significant than bond stretching.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Chemical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Jiangping Liu, dielectric constant, dipole moment, QSPR, molecular descriptors, NRTL, molecular dynamics simulations, polarization