skip to main content


Title: Highly Anisotropic Conductors
Abstract

Composite materials with ordered microstructures often lead to enhanced functionalities that a single material can hardly achieve. Many biomaterials with unusual microstructures can be found in nature; among them, many possess anisotropic and even directional physical and chemical properties. With inspiration from nature, artificial composite materials can be rationally designed to achieve this anisotropic behavior with desired properties. Here, a metallic wood with metal continuously filling the wood vessels is developed, which demonstrates excellent anisotropic electrical, thermal, and mechanical properties. The well‐aligned metal rods are confined and separated by the wood vessels, which deliver directional electron transport parallel to the alignment direction. Thus, the novel metallic wood composite boasts an extraordinary anisotropic electrical conductivity (σ||) in the order of 1011, and anisotropic thermal conductivity (κ||) of 18. These values exceed the highest reported values in existing anisotropic composite materials. The anisotropic functionality of the metallic wood enables it to be used for thermal management applications, such as thermal insulation and thermal dissipation. The highly anisotropic metallic wood serves as an example for further anisotropic materials design; other composite materials with different biotemplates/hosts and fillers can achieve even higher anisotropic ratios, allowing them to be implemented in a variety of applications.

 
more » « less
NSF-PAR ID:
10041923
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Advanced Materials
Volume:
29
Issue:
41
ISSN:
0935-9648
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Hafnium pentatelluride (HfTe5) has attracted extensive interest due to its exotic electronic, optical, and thermal properties. As a highly anisotropic crystal (layered structure with in‐plane chains), it has highly anisotropic electrical‐transport properties, but the anisotropy of its thermal‐transport properties has not been established. Here, accurate experimental measurements and theoretical calculations are combined to resolve this issue. Time‐domain thermoreflectance measurements find a highly anisotropic thermal conductivity, 28:1:8, with values of 11.3 ± 2.2, 0.41 ± 0.04, and 3.2 ± 2.0 W m-1K-1along the in‐planea‐axis, through‐planeb‐axis, and in‐planec‐axis, respectively. This anisotropy is even larger than what was recently established for ZrTe5(12:1:6), but the individual values are somewhat higher, even though Zr has a smaller atomic mass than Hf. Density‐functional‐theory calculations predict thermal conductivities in good agreement with the experimental data, provide comprehensive insights into the results, and reveal the origin of the apparent anomaly of the relative thermal conductivities of the two pentatellurides. These results establish that HfTe5and ZrTe5, and by implication their alloys, have highly anisotropic and ultralow through‐plane thermal conductivities, which can provide guidance for the design of materials for new directional‐heat‐management applications and potentially other thermal functionalities.

     
    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Gallium‐based liquid metal (LM) composite with metallic fillers is an emerging class of thermal interface materials (TIMs), which are widely applied in electronics and power systems to improve their performance. In situ alloying between gallium and many metallic fillers like copper and silver, however, leads to a deteriorated composite stability. This paper presents an interfacial engineering approach using 3‐chloropropyltriethoxysilane (CPTES) to serve as effective thermal linkers and diffusion barriers at the copper‐gallium oxide interfaces in the LM matrix, achieving an enhancement in both thermal conductivity and stability of the composite. By mixing LM with copper particles modified by CPTES, a thermal conductivity (κ) as high as 65.9 W m−1K−1is achieved. In addition, κ can be tuned by altering the terminal groups of silane molecules, demonstrating the flexibility of this approach. The potential use of such composite as a TIM is also shown in the heat dissipation of a computer central processing unit. While most studies on LM‐based composites enhance the material performance via direct mixing of various fillers, this work provides a different approach to fabricate high‐performance LM‐based composites and may further advance their applications in various areas including thermal management systems, flexible electronics, consumer electronics, and biomedical systems.

     
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    The lattice thermal conductivity (κph) of metals and semimetals is limited by phonon‐phonon scattering at high temperatures and by electron‐phonon scattering at low temperatures or in some systems with weak phonon‐phonon scattering. Following the demonstration of a phonon band engineering approach to achieve an unusually high κphin semiconducting cubic‐boron arsenide (c‐BAs), recent theories have predicted ultrahigh κphof the semimetal tantalum nitride in the θ‐phase (θ‐TaN) with hexagonal tungsten carbide (WC) structure due to the combination of a small electron density of states near the Fermi level and a large phonon band gap, which suppress electron‐phonon and three‐phonon scattering, respectively. Here, measurements on the thermal and electrical transport properties of polycrystalline θ‐TaN converted from the ε phase via high‐pressure synthesis are reported. The measured thermal conductivity of the θ‐TaN samples shows weak temperature dependence above 200 K and reaches up to 90 Wm−1K−1, one order of magnitude higher than values reported for polycrystalline ε‐TaN and δ‐TaN thin films. These results agree with theoretical calculations that account for phonon scattering by 100 nm‐level grains and suggest κphincrease above the 249 Wm−1K−1value predicted for single‐crystal WC when the grain size of θ‐TaN is increased above 400 nm.

     
    more » « less
  4. MXenes, a new class of 2D transition metal carbides and carbonitrides, show great promise in supercapacitors, Li‐ion batteries, fuel cells, and sensor applications. A unique combination of their metallic conductivity, hydrophilic surface, and excellent mechanical properties renders them attractive for transparent conductive electrode application. Here, a simple, scalable method is proposed to fabricate transparent conductive thin films using delaminated Ti3C2MXene flakes by spray coating. Homogenous films, 5–70 nm thick, are produced at ambient conditions over a large area as shown by scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. The sheet resistances (Rs) range from 0.5 to 8 kΩ sq−1at 40% to 90% transmittance, respectively, which corresponds to figures of merit (the ratio of electronic to optical conductivities,σDC/σopt) around 0.5–0.7. Flexible, transparent, and conductive films are also produced and exhibit stableRsvalues at up to 5 mm bend radii. Furthermore, the films' optoelectronic properties are tuned by chemical or electrochemical intercalation of cations. The films show reversible changes of transmittance in the UV–visible region during electrochemical intercalation/deintercalation of tetramethylammonium hydroxide. This work shows the potential of MXenes to be used as transparent conductors in electronic, electrochromic, and sensor applications.

     
    more » « less
  5. Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites have been increasingly used to replace metal parts in many industries such as aerospace, marine, automotive, and sporting goods. The CFRP parts compared with their metallic counter parts have the advantages of lightweight, significantly higher tensile strength, stiffer, and corrosion resistant. On the other hand, compared with many metal parts, the CFRP parts have many well-known disadvantages including the lower toughness, lower through-thickness tensile and shear strengths, lower thermal conductivity, lower electrical conductivity, and lower operating temperature. These disadvantages have made the conversion from metal parts into CFRP parts challenging and costly to design, manufacture, and maintain. The use of nanoparticles in polymer has been studied in the recent two decades. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and carbon nanofibers (CNFs) have been dispersed in various thermoset and thermoplastic polymers and improved the mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties; however, the properties were not comparable to CFRP. Later, researchers tried to infuse CNTs or CNFs into either carbon fiber preforms [1] or glass fiber preforms [2] for improving the mechanical properties. But the results were marginal and with great uncertainty due to the challenges of nanoparticle dispersion, filtering, and alignment while being infused through the fiber preform. The glass fiber preform experiments ended with relatively more consistent improvement than the carbon fiber preform experiments since that the glass fiber preform has significantly larger pores than the carbon fiber preform' s. The small pore size presented a great challenge for infusing millions of unaligned long CNTs or CNFs through the carbon fiber preform without being filtered. To infuse long CNFs or CNTs through the carbon fiber preform and achieve reliable improvements, especially for 55% or higher carbon fiber volume fraction with increasingly tighter pores, an innovative plan for the processing and nano-reinforcing strategy is necessary. The z-threading strategy [3, 4, 5] has been reported to have consistent experimental successes in achieving the statistically meaningful improvement in multifunctional properties. The manufacturing steps of the CNF z-threaded CFRP (ZT-CFRP) are: (1) disperse the CNFs in a resin, (2) use a strong electrical field to align the CNFs in either the B-stage epoxy film or a CNF/resin impregnated sponge layer, whereas the CNFs are aligned in the through-thickness direction of the film or sponge layer. (3) place the resin film or sponge layer on a preheated dry carbon fiber fabric and press the resin film into the hot carbon fabric and allow the resin flow to carry the well-aligned CNFs to thread through the pores in the carbon fabric. (4) cool down the resin saturated and CNF z-threaded carbon fiber fabric to obtain the ZT-CFRP prepreg. (5) use the ZT-CFRP prepreg to make the ZT-CFRP laminate. Compared with the traditional CFRP, the ZT-CFRP laminates were reported of having improvement in the Mode-I delamination toughness, interlaminar shear strength, longitudinal compressive strength, through-thickness electrical conductivity, through-thickness thermal conductivity, and can reach the carbon fiber volume fraction of 55-80%. It is an effective approach to achieve a multifunctional CFRP for potentially expanding CFRP's applications. 
    more » « less