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Highly Stable and Conductive Microcapsules for Enhancement of Joule Heating Performance

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journal contribution
posted on 22.03.2016, 00:00 authored by Zhaoliang Zheng, Jidong Jin, Guang-Kui Xu, Jianli Zou, Ulrike Wais, Alison Beckett, Tobias Heil, Sean Higgins, Lunhui Guan, Ying Wang, Dmitry Shchukin
Nanocarbons show great promise for establishing the next generation of Joule heating systems, but suffer from the limited maximum temperature due to precociously convective heat dissipation from electrothermal system to surrounding environment. Here we introduce a strategy to eliminate such convective heat transfer by inserting highly stable and conductive microcapsules into the electrothermal structures. The microcapsule is composed of encapsulated long-chain alkanes and graphene oxide/carbon nanotube hybrids as core and shell material, respectively. Multiform carbon nanotubes in the microspheres stabilize the capsule shell to resist volume-change-induced rupture during repeated heating/cooling process, and meanwhile enhance the thermal conductance of encapsulated alkanes which facilitates an expeditious heat exchange. The resulting microcapsules can be homogeneously incorporated in the nanocarbon-based electrothermal structures. At a dopant of 5%, the working temperature can be enhanced by 30% even at a low voltage and moderate temperature, which indicates a great value in daily household applications. Therefore, the stable and conductive microcapsule may serve as a versatile and valuable dopant for varieties of heat generation systems.