Highly Conductive Polypropylene-Graphene Nonwoven Composite via Interface Engineering.


Here we report a highly conductive polypropylene-graphene nonwoven composite via direct coating of melt blown polypropylene (PP) nonwoven fabrics with graphene oxide (GO) dispersions in N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF), followed by the chemical reduction of GO with hydroiodic acid (HI). GO as an amphiphilic macromolecule can be dispersed in DMF homogeneously at a concentration of 5 mg/mL, which has much lower surface tension (37.5 mN/m) than that of GO in water (72.9 mN/m, at 5 mg/mL). The hydrophobic PP nonwoven has a surface energy of 30.1 mN/m, close to the surface tension of GO in DMF. Therefore, the PP nonwoven can be easily wetted by the GO/DMF dispersion without any pretreatment. Soaking PP nonwoven in a GO/DMF dispersion leads to uniform coatings of GO on PP-fiber surfaces. After chemical reduction of GO to graphene, the resulting PP/graphene nonwoven composite offers an electrical conductivity of 35.6 S m-1 at graphene loading of 5.2 wt %, the highest among the existing conductive PP systems reported, indicating that surface tension of coating baths has significant impact on the coating uniformity and affinity. The conductivity of our PP/graphene nonwoven is also stable against stirring washing test. In addition, here we demonstrate a monolithic supercapacitor derived from the PP-GO nonwoven composite by using a direct laser-patterning process. The resulted sandwich supercapacitor shows a high areal capacitance of 4.18 mF/cm2 in PVA-H2SO4 gel electrolyte. The resulting highly conductive or capacitive PP/graphene nonwoven carries great promise to be used as electronic textiles.

DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b01508

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@article{Pan2017HighlyCP, title={Highly Conductive Polypropylene-Graphene Nonwoven Composite via Interface Engineering.}, author={Qin Pan and Eunkyoung Shim and Behnam Pourdeyhimi and Wei Gao}, journal={Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids}, year={2017}, volume={33 30}, pages={7452-7458} }