This is the first time people have been able to demonstrate dramatically altered properties like this with really small quantities of graphite-based materials, says Cate Brinson, Jerome B. Cohen Professor of Mechanical Engineering and corresponding author of the paper.
The graphene sheets also will inherently be able to block moisture and gases from penetrating the material as well as change the thermal stability temperature and improve mechanical properties, making the durable polymer a candidate for use in everything from aircrafts to sports equipment to solar cells
I think it has enormous potential, Brinson says. With the ready availability of graphite and the properties we have demonstrated, this new material will enable significant structural scale use of carbon-based nanocomposites.
Next researchers are studying the polymers electroconductivity, quantifying and optimizing the results with the goal of creating optically transparent conducting polymers that are thermomechanically stable.
|Contact: Kyle Delaney|