Strong and Electrically Conductive Graphene-Based Composite Fibers and Laminates

Graphene is an ideal candidate for lightweight, high-strength composite materials given its superior mechanical properties (specific strength of 130 GPa and stiffness of 1 TPa). To date, easily scalable graphene-like materials in a form of separated flakes (exfoliated graphene, graphene oxide, and reduced graphene oxide) have been investigated as candidates for large-scale applications such as material reinforcement. These graphene-like materials do not fully exhibit all the capabilities of graphene in composite materials. In the current study, we show that macro (2 inch × 2 inch) graphene laminates and fibers can be produced using large continuous sheets of single-layer graphene grown by chemical vapor deposition. The resulting composite structures have potential to outperform the current state-of-the-art composite materials in both mechanical properties and electrical conductivities (>8 S/cm with only 0.13% volumetric graphene loading and 5 × 103 S/cm for pure graphene fibers) with estimated graphene contributions of >10 GPa in strength and 1 TPa in stiffness.