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Low percolation threshold of graphene/polymer composites prepared by solvothermal reduction of graphene oxide in the polymer solution

Linxiang He12 and Sie Chin Tjong12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Physics and Materials Science, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

2 Shenzhen Research Institute, City University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:132  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-132

Published: 22 March 2013

Abstract

Graphene/polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) composites were prepared using in-situ solvothermal reduction of graphene oxide in the PVDF solution. The electrical conductivity of the composites was greatly improved by doping with graphene sheets. The percolation threshold of such composite was determined to be 0.31 vol.%, being much smaller than that of the composites prepared via blending reduced graphene sheets with polymer matrix. This is attributed to the large aspect ratio of the SRG sheets and their uniform dispersion in the polymer matrix. The dielectric constant of PVDF showed a marked increase from 7 to about 105 with only 0.5 vol.% loading of SRG content. Like the other conductor-insulator systems, the AC conductivity of the system also obeyed the universal dynamic response. In addition, the SRG/PVDF composite shows a much stronger nonlinear conduction behavior than carbon nanotube/nanofiber based polymer composite, owing to intense Zener tunneling between the SRG sheets. The strong electrical nonlinearity provides further support for a homogeneous dispersion of SRG sheets in the polymer matrix.

Keywords:
Graphene; Composite; Percolation; Electrical conductivity