Department of Chemical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel
The rapidly increasing device densities in electronics calls for efficient thermal management. If successfully exploited, graphene, which possesses extraordinary thermal properties, can be commercially utilized to produce polymer composites with ultrahigh thermal conductivity (TC). The total potential of graphene to enhance TC, however, is restricted by the large interfacial thermal resistance between the polymer-mediated graphene boundaries  We report a facile and scalable dispersion of commercially available graphene nano platelets (GnPs) in a polymer matrix, which forms composite with ultra-high TC of 12.4 W/mK (vs. 0.2 W/mK for the neat polymer)  This ultra-high TC is achieved by applying high compression forces during the dispersion that results in the closure of gaps between adjacent GnPs with large lateral dimensions and low defect densities. We also found strong evidence for a thermal percolation threshold. Finally, the addition of electrically insulating nano-boron nitride to the thermally conductive GnP-polymer composite significantly reduces its electrical conductivity (to avoid short circuit) and synergistically increases the TC  The efficient dispersion of commercially available GnPs in polymer matrix provides the ideal framework for substantial progress toward the large-scale production and commercialization of GnP-based thermally conductive composites.
1. Shtein, M., Pri Bar, I., Varenik, M., Regev, O., Anal. Chem. 2015, 87, 4076-4080.
2. Shtein, M., Nadiv, R., Buzaglo, M., Kahil, K., Regev, O., Chem. Mater. 2015, 27 2100.
3. Shtein, M., Nadiv, R., Buzaglo, M., Regev, O., ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2015, 7, 23725.
Oren Regev is currently a full Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He is primarily interested in the dispersion of nanocarbons and their application. He received his PhD in 1992 from the Technion, IIT and was a visiting scientist in Lund, Eindhoven and Texas A&M universities. He has published over 100 papers (>3000 citations) and two patents.