Coupled Chiral Structure in Graphene-Based Film for Ultrahigh Thermal Conductivity in Both In-Plane and Through-Plane Directions
The development of high-performance thermal management materials to dissipate excessive heat both in plane and through plane is of special interest to maintain efficient operation and prolong the life of electronic devices. Herein, we designed and constructed a graphene-based composite film, which contains chiral liquid crystals (cellulose nanocrystals, CNCs) inside graphene oxide (GO). The composite film was prepared by annealing and compacting of self-assembled GO-CNC, which contains chiral smectic liquid crystal structures. The helical arranged nanorods of carbonized CNC act as in-plane connections, which bridge neighboring graphene sheets. More interestingly, the chiral structures also act as through-plane connections, which bridge the upper and lower graphene layers. As a result, the graphene-based composite film shows extraordinary thermal conductivity, in both in-plane (1820.4 W m−1 K−1) and throughplane (4.596 W m−1 K−1) directions. As a thermal management material, the heat dissipation and transportation behaviors of the composite film were investigated using a self-heating system and the results showed that the real-time temperature of the heater covered with the film was 44.5 °C lower than a naked heater. The prepared film shows a much higher efficiency of heat transportation than the commonly used thermal conductive Cu foil. Additionally, this graphene-based composite film exhibits excellent mechanical strength of 31.6 MPa and an electrical conductivity of 667.4 S cm−1. The strategy reported here may open a new avenue to the development of high-performance thermal management films.