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Highly Conductive Nanocomposites with Three-Dimensional, Compactly Interconnected Graphene Networks via a Self-Assembly Process

Authors

  • Chao Wu,

    1. Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Shanghai Key Lab of Electrical Insulation and Thermal Aging, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
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  • Xingyi Huang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Shanghai Key Lab of Electrical Insulation and Thermal Aging, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
    • Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Shanghai Key Lab of Electrical Insulation and Thermal Aging, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China.
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  • Genlin Wang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Shanghai Key Lab of Electrical Insulation and Thermal Aging, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
    • Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Shanghai Key Lab of Electrical Insulation and Thermal Aging, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China.
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  • Libing Lv,

    1. Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Shanghai Key Lab of Electrical Insulation and Thermal Aging, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
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  • Gan Chen,

    1. Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Shanghai Key Lab of Electrical Insulation and Thermal Aging, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
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  • Guangyv Li,

    1. Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Shanghai Key Lab of Electrical Insulation and Thermal Aging, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
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  • Pingkai Jiang

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Shanghai Key Lab of Electrical Insulation and Thermal Aging, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
    • Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Shanghai Key Lab of Electrical Insulation and Thermal Aging, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China.
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Abstract

Polymer-based materials with high electrical conductivity are of considerable interest because of their wide range of applications. The construction of a 3D, compactly interconnected graphene network can offer a huge increase in the electrical conductivity of polymer composites. However, it is still a great challenge to achieve desirable 3D architectures in the polymer matrix. Here, highly conductive polymer nanocomposites with 3D compactly interconnected graphene networks are obtained using a self-assembly process. Polystyrene (PS) and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) are used as polymer matrixes. The obtained PS composite film with 4.8 vol% graphene shows a high electrical conductivity of 1083.3 S/m, which is superior to that of the graphene composite prepared by a solvent mixing method. The electrical conductivity of the composites is closely related to the compact contact between graphene sheets in the 3D structures and the high reduction level of graphene sheets. The obtained EVA composite films with the 3D graphene structure not only show high electrical conductivity but also exhibit high flexibility. Importantly, the method to fabricate 3D graphene structures in polymer matrix is facile, green, low-cost, and scalable, providing a universal route for the rational design and engineering of highly conductive polymer composites.

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