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Flexible Polydimethylsilane Nanocomposites Enhanced with a Three-Dimensional Graphene/Carbon Nanotube Bicontinuous Framework for High-Performance Electromagnetic Interference Shielding

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journal contribution
posted on 10.07.2018, 00:00 by Sumin Zhao, Yehai Yan, Ailin Gao, Shuai Zhao, Jian Cui, Guangfa Zhang
High-performance electromagnetic interference (EMI)-shielding materials featuring lightweight, flexibility, excellent conductivity, and shielding properties, as well as superior mechanical robustness, are highly required, yet their development still remains a daunting challenge. Here, a flexible and exceptional EMI-shielding polydimethylsilane/reduced graphene oxide/single-wall carbon nanotube (PDMS/rGO/SWCNT) nanocomposite was developed by a facile backfilling approach utilizing a preformed rGO/SWCNT aerogel as the three-dimensional (3D) conducting and reinforcement skeleton. Pristine SWCNTs acting as secondary conductive fillers showed intriguing advantages, whose intrinsically high conductivity could be well preserved in the composites because of no surface acidification treatment. The robust and interconnected 3D network can not only serve as fast channels for electron transport but also effectively transfer external load. Accordingly, a prominent electrical conductivity of 1.2 S cm–1 and an outstanding EMI-shielding effectiveness of around 31 dB over the X-band frequency range were achieved for the resultant composite with an ultralow loading of 0.28 wt %, which is among the best results for currently reported conductive polymer nanocomposites. Moreover, the composite displayed excellent mechanical properties and bending stability; for example, a 233% increment in the compression strength was obtained compared with that of neat PDMS. These observations indicate the unrivalled effectiveness of 3D rGO/SWCNT aerogel as a reinforcement to endow the polymer composites with outstanding conductive and mechanical properties toward high-performance EMI-shielding application.