Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump: Rice scientists combine graphene foam, epoxy into tough, conductive composite

Led by scientists at Rice University, researchers have created an epoxy-graphene foam compound that is tough and conductive without adding significant weight. The material is suitable for applications like electromagnetic shielding.

CREDIT
Rouzbeh Shahsavari Group/Rice University
Led by scientists at Rice University, researchers have created an epoxy-graphene foam compound that is tough and conductive without adding significant weight. The material is suitable for applications like electromagnetic shielding. CREDIT Rouzbeh Shahsavari Group/Rice University

Abstract:
Rice University scientists have built a better epoxy for electronic applications.

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump: Rice scientists combine graphene foam, epoxy into tough, conductive composite

Houston, TX | Posted on November 14th, 2018

Epoxy combined with "ultrastiff" graphene foam invented in the Rice lab of chemist James Tour is substantially tougher than pure epoxy and far more conductive than other epoxy composites while retaining the material's low density. It could improve upon epoxies in current use that weaken the material's structure with the addition of conductive fillers.

The new material is detailed in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano.

By itself, epoxy is an insulator, and is commonly used in coatings, adhesives, electronics, industrial tooling and structural composites. Metal or carbon fillers are often added for applications where conductivity is desired, like electromagnetic shielding.

But there's a trade-off: More filler brings better conductivity at the cost of weight and compressive strength, and the composite becomes harder to process.

The Rice solution replaces metal or carbon powders with a three-dimensional foam made of nanoscale sheets of graphene, the atom-thick form of carbon.

The Tour lab, in collaboration with Rice materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan, Rouzbeh Shahsavari and Jun Lou and Yan Zhao of Beihang University in Beijing, took their inspiration from projects to inject epoxy into 3D scaffolds including graphene aerogels, foams and skeletons from various processes.

The new scheme makes much stronger scaffolds from polyacrylonitrile (PAN), a powdered polymer resin they use as a source of carbon, mixed with nickel powder. In the four-step process, they cold-press the materials to make them dense, heat them in a furnace to turn the PAN into graphene, chemically treat the resulting material to remove the nickel and use a vacuum to pull the epoxy into the now-porous material.

"The graphene foam is a single piece of few-layer graphene," Tour said. "Therefore, in reality, the entire foam is one large molecule. When the epoxy infiltrates the foam and then hardens, any bending in the epoxy in one place will stress the monolith at many other locations due to the embedded graphene scaffolding. This ultimately stiffens the entire structure."

The puck-shaped composites with 32 percent foam were marginally denser, but had an electrical conductivity of about 14 Siemens (a measure of conductivity, or inverse ohms) per centimeter, according to the researchers. The foam did not add significant weight to the compound, but gave it seven times the compressive strength of pure epoxy.

Easy interlocking between the graphene and epoxy helped stabilize the structure of the graphene as well. "When the epoxy infiltrates the graphene foam and then hardens, the epoxy is captured in micron-sized domains of the graphene foam," Tour said.

The lab upped the ante by mixing multiwalled carbon nanotubes into the graphene foam. The nanotubes acted as reinforcement bars that bonded with the graphene and made the composite 1,732 percent stiffer than pure epoxy and nearly three times as conductive, at about 41 Siemens per centimeter, far greater than nearly all of the scaffold-based epoxy composites reported to date, according to the researchers.

Tour expects the process will scale for industry. "One just needs a furnace large enough to produce the ultimate part," he said. "But that is done all the time to make large metal parts by cold-pressing and then heating them."

He said the material could initially replace the carbon-composite resins used to pre-impregnate and reinforce fabric used in materials from aerospace structures to tennis rackets.

###

Visiting Rice student Xiao Han, a graduate student at Beihang University, and Rice graduate student Tuo Wang are co-lead authors of the paper. Co-authors are Rice alumni Peter Samora Owuor and Jongwon Yoon, graduate student Sung Hoon Hwang, visiting scholars Chao Wang and Lulu Shen, and postdoctoral researchers Weipeng Wang and Rodrigo Villegas Salvatierra; and Junwei Sha of Tianjin University, China.

Ajayan is chair of Rice's Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Engineering and a professor of chemistry. Shahsavari is an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and of materials science and nanoengineering. Lou is a professor of materials science and nanoengineering. Zhao is a professor at Beihang University. Tour is the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry as well as a professor of computer science and of materials science and nanoengineering at Rice.

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the China Scholarship Council supported the research.

####

About Rice University
Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice's undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. To read "What they're saying about Rice," go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview .

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
David Ruth

713-348-6327

Copyright © Rice University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Read the abstract at:

Rice U. chemists create 3D printed graphene foam:

James M. Tour Group:

Ajayan Research Group:

Multiscale Materials Laboratory:

Lou Group:

Rice Department of Chemistry:

Rice Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering:

Related News Press

News and information

HKUST researchers develop a novel integration scheme for efficient coupling between III-V and silicon November 18th, 2022

Researchers at Purdue unlock light-matter interactions on sub-nanometer scales, leading to ‘picophotonics’ November 18th, 2022

Rice turns asphaltene into graphene for composites: ‘Flashed’ byproduct of crude oil could bolster materials, polymer inks November 18th, 2022

Graphene/ Graphite

Trial by wind: Testing the heat resistance of carbon fiber-reinforced ultra-high-temperature ceramic matrix composites: Researchers use an arc-wind tunnel to test the heat resistance of carbon fiber reinforced ultra-high-temperature ceramic matrix composites November 18th, 2022

Rice turns asphaltene into graphene for composites: ‘Flashed’ byproduct of crude oil could bolster materials, polymer inks November 18th, 2022

Hardware

A Carbon Nanotube Microprocessor Mature Enough to Say Hello: Three new breakthroughs make commercial nanotube processors possible March 2nd, 2020

Powering the future: Smallest all-digital circuit opens doors to 5 nm next-gen semiconductor February 11th, 2020

SUNY Poly Professor Partners with Leading Institutions on NSF Award for Quantum Information Science Research: SUNY Poly Research Builds Upon Recent Quantum-related Research Initiatives and Workshops January 27th, 2020

Do you Kyoto? World-leading companies share their approaches to environmentally friendly business at NAUM’19 October 14th, 2019

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

NIST’s grid of quantum islands could reveal secrets for powerful technologies November 18th, 2022

A new experiment pushes the boundaries of our understanding of topological quantum matter: The behavior of bosonic particles observed in a magnetic insulator fabricated from ruthenium chloride can be explained by a relatively new and little-studied physics phenomenon called the B November 18th, 2022

Trial by wind: Testing the heat resistance of carbon fiber-reinforced ultra-high-temperature ceramic matrix composites: Researchers use an arc-wind tunnel to test the heat resistance of carbon fiber reinforced ultra-high-temperature ceramic matrix composites November 18th, 2022

How “2D” materials expand: New technique that accurately measures how atom-thin materials expand when heated could help engineers develop faster, more powerful electronic devices November 18th, 2022

Possible Futures

HKUST researchers develop a novel integration scheme for efficient coupling between III-V and silicon November 18th, 2022

NIST’s grid of quantum islands could reveal secrets for powerful technologies November 18th, 2022

A new experiment pushes the boundaries of our understanding of topological quantum matter: The behavior of bosonic particles observed in a magnetic insulator fabricated from ruthenium chloride can be explained by a relatively new and little-studied physics phenomenon called the B November 18th, 2022

Trial by wind: Testing the heat resistance of carbon fiber-reinforced ultra-high-temperature ceramic matrix composites: Researchers use an arc-wind tunnel to test the heat resistance of carbon fiber reinforced ultra-high-temperature ceramic matrix composites November 18th, 2022

Chip Technology

NIST’s grid of quantum islands could reveal secrets for powerful technologies November 18th, 2022

An on-chip time-lens generates ultrafast pulses: New device opens the doors to applications in communication, quantum computing, astronomy November 18th, 2022

Researchers at Purdue unlock light-matter interactions on sub-nanometer scales, leading to ‘picophotonics’ November 18th, 2022

Semi-nonlinear etchless lithium niobate waveguide with bound states in the continuum November 4th, 2022

Discoveries

An on-chip time-lens generates ultrafast pulses: New device opens the doors to applications in communication, quantum computing, astronomy November 18th, 2022

Researchers at Purdue unlock light-matter interactions on sub-nanometer scales, leading to ‘picophotonics’ November 18th, 2022

Rice turns asphaltene into graphene for composites: ‘Flashed’ byproduct of crude oil could bolster materials, polymer inks November 18th, 2022

How “2D” materials expand: New technique that accurately measures how atom-thin materials expand when heated could help engineers develop faster, more powerful electronic devices November 18th, 2022

Announcements

HKUST researchers develop a novel integration scheme for efficient coupling between III-V and silicon November 18th, 2022

NIST’s grid of quantum islands could reveal secrets for powerful technologies November 18th, 2022

A new experiment pushes the boundaries of our understanding of topological quantum matter: The behavior of bosonic particles observed in a magnetic insulator fabricated from ruthenium chloride can be explained by a relatively new and little-studied physics phenomenon called the B November 18th, 2022

How “2D” materials expand: New technique that accurately measures how atom-thin materials expand when heated could help engineers develop faster, more powerful electronic devices November 18th, 2022

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers/Posters

An on-chip time-lens generates ultrafast pulses: New device opens the doors to applications in communication, quantum computing, astronomy November 18th, 2022

Researchers at Purdue unlock light-matter interactions on sub-nanometer scales, leading to ‘picophotonics’ November 18th, 2022

Rice turns asphaltene into graphene for composites: ‘Flashed’ byproduct of crude oil could bolster materials, polymer inks November 18th, 2022

How “2D” materials expand: New technique that accurately measures how atom-thin materials expand when heated could help engineers develop faster, more powerful electronic devices November 18th, 2022

Military

An on-chip time-lens generates ultrafast pulses: New device opens the doors to applications in communication, quantum computing, astronomy November 18th, 2022

Researchers at Purdue unlock light-matter interactions on sub-nanometer scales, leading to ‘picophotonics’ November 18th, 2022

Rice turns asphaltene into graphene for composites: ‘Flashed’ byproduct of crude oil could bolster materials, polymer inks November 18th, 2022

How “2D” materials expand: New technique that accurately measures how atom-thin materials expand when heated could help engineers develop faster, more powerful electronic devices November 18th, 2022

Sports

Threads that sense how and when you move? New technology makes it possible: Engineers created thread sensors that can be attached to skin to measure movement in real time, with potential implications for tracking health and performance January 29th, 2021

Surrey reveals its implantable biosensor that operates without batteries May 22nd, 2020

Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise December 14th, 2018

UVA multidisciplinary engineering team designs technology for smart materials: The invention could lead to devices and manufactured goods, such as fabrics, that can dynamically regulate between thermally insulating and cooling August 17th, 2018

Aerospace/Space

Trial by wind: Testing the heat resistance of carbon fiber-reinforced ultra-high-temperature ceramic matrix composites: Researchers use an arc-wind tunnel to test the heat resistance of carbon fiber reinforced ultra-high-temperature ceramic matrix composites November 18th, 2022

Surface microstructures of lunar soil returned by Chang’e-5 mission reveal an intermediate stage in space weathering process September 30th, 2022

Strain-sensing smart skin ready to deploy: Nanotube-embedded coating detects threats from wear and tear in large structures July 15th, 2022

Boron nitride nanotube fibers get real: Rice lab creates first heat-tolerant, stable fibers from wet-spinning process June 24th, 2022

Research partnerships

New insights into energy loss open doors for one up-and-coming solar tech November 18th, 2022

New hybrid structures could pave the way to more stable quantum computers: Study shows that merging a topological insulator with a monolayer superconductor could support theorized topological superconductivity October 28th, 2022

“Kagome” metallic crystal adds new spin to electronics October 28th, 2022

New measurements quantifying qudits provide glimpse of quantum future October 14th, 2022

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project