Down the Dimensionality Lane: Thermal Conductivity Enhancement in Carbon-Based Liquid Dispersions

Lucas Luciano Cullari, Shani Ligati Schleifer, David Kogan, Gennady Ziskind, Oren Regev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Carbon allotropes of different dimensionality, i.e., 1D-carbon nanotubes, 2D-graphene nanoplatelets, and 3D-graphite, possess high thermal conductivity (TC > 2000 W/m K). They are, therefore, excellent candidates for filler material aiming at increasing the TC of composites used for thermal management. However, preparing aqueous dispersions of these materials is challenging due to their strong van der Waals attraction, leading to aggregation and subsequent precipitation. Reported dispersion methodologies have failed to disperse large microscale fillers, which are essential for efficient thermal management. In this work, we suggest to "kinetically arrest" the dispersion by using sepiolite, a fiberlike clay, that effectively disperses all three carbon dimensionalities. We explore the effect of filler dimensionality and properties (lateral size, thickness, defect density) on the dispersion TC enhancement. Modeling the TC by the effective medium approach allows lumping all the intrinsic properties of the filler into a single parameter termed "effective TC", providing an accurate prediction of the experimentally measured TC. We show that, by judicious choice of filler, the TC of both water and a water-ethylene glycol mixture can be enhanced by 31% using graphene nanoplatelets of 15 μm in lateral size. We believe that the guidelines obtained in this work provide a useful tool for designing future liquid composites with enhanced thermal properties.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)9844-9854
Number of pages11
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Issue number7
StatePublished - 9 Feb 2022


  • carbon allotrope
  • dispersion
  • graphene
  • liquid exfoliation
  • thermal conductivity
  • trapping

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


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