NSTI Nanotech 2009

Graphene-Polyimide Nanocomposite Film

J.R. Lomeda, Z. Sun, J.M. Tour
Rice University, US

Keywords: polyimide, graphene, nanocomposite, barrier property


Polyimides and polyetherimides belong to a special class of thermoplastics due to their excellent mechanical properties, wide range of operating temperature and exceptional resistance to fire, radiation and solvents. These key properties are the largely exploited in the electronics and aerospace industry including space explorations. These materials however are not without drawbacks and improvements can be made by incorporation nanomaterials yielding hybrid functional materials. Among the issues that need to be addressed are: (1) build up of static charge; (2) susceptibility to atomic oxygen. Graphene, a monolayer of sp2 carbon atoms, is one interesting material that can be incorporated into such system to tailor the barrier properties and gas permeability, resistance to UV and atomic oxygen; and conductivity. With its ballistic electron transport properties (10,000 cm2 V-1 s-1, high modulus (~1 TPa) and enormous surface area (2600 m2/g), novel nanocomposites can be fabricated with very minimal loading. Two possible approaches in achieving these goals are: (1) bulk solution blending and casting of graphene derivatives and polymer and (2) layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly. The graphene derivatives obtained from oxidation of graphite and subsequent functionalization is a good starting point for preparing readily processable and dispersible nanosheets in a variety of solvents.
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