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Synergistic Effects of Boron Nitride (BN) Nanosheets and Silver (Ag) Nanoparticles on Thermal Conductivity and Electrical Properties of Epoxy Nanocomposites

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School of Electrical Engineering and Automation, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
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Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
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School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Hubei Key Laboratory for High-efficiently Utilization of Solar Energy and Operation Control of Energy Storage System, Hubei University of Technology, Wuhan 430068, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(2), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12020426
Received: 13 January 2020 / Revised: 7 February 2020 / Accepted: 8 February 2020 / Published: 12 February 2020
Polymer composites, with both high thermal conductivity and high electrical insulation strength, are desirable for power equipment and electronic devices, to sustain increasingly high power density and heat flux. However, conventional methods to synthesize polymer composites with high thermal conductivity often degrade their insulation strength, or cause a significant increase in dielectric properties. In this work, we demonstrate epoxy nanocomposites embedded with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), and modified boron nitride nanosheets (BNNSs), which have high thermal conductivity, high insulation strength, low permittivity, and low dielectric loss. Compared with neat epoxy, the composite with 25 vol% of binary nanofillers has a significant enhancement (~10x) in thermal conductivity, which is twice of that filled with BNNSs only (~5x), owing to the continuous heat transfer path among BNNSs enabled by AgNPs. An increase in the breakdown voltage is observed, which is attributed to BNNSs-restricted formation of AgNPs conducting channels that result in a lengthening of the breakdown path. Moreover, the effects of nanofillers on dielectric properties, and thermal simulated current of nanocomposites, are discussed.
Keywords: polymer nanocomposites; thermal conductivity; electrical properties; silver nanoparticles/boron nitride nanosheets; PACS: polymer nanocomposites; thermal conductivity; electrical properties; silver nanoparticles/boron nitride nanosheets; PACS:
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wu, Y.; Zhang, X.; Negi, A.; He, J.; Hu, G.; Tian, S.; Liu, J. Synergistic Effects of Boron Nitride (BN) Nanosheets and Silver (Ag) Nanoparticles on Thermal Conductivity and Electrical Properties of Epoxy Nanocomposites. Polymers 2020, 12, 426.

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