Conductive Polymer Nanocomposites: A Critical Review of Modern Advanced Devices
- C. Zhan, G. Yu, Y. Lu, L. Wang, E. Wujcik, S. Wei
- J. Mater. Chem. C, 2017,
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.