An important task in facilitating the development of thermally conducting graphene/polymer nanocomposites is to suppress the intrinsically strong intersheet π-π stacking of graphene, and thereby to improve the exfoliation and dispersion of graphene in the matrix. Here, a pre-programmed intercalation approach to realize the in situ growth of graphene nanosheets at the inorganic template is demonstrated. Specifically, microsized MgO granules with controlled geometrical size were synthesized using a precipitation method, allowing the simultaneous realization of high surface activity. In the presence of a carbon and nitrogen source, the MgO granules were ready to induce the formation of graphene nanosheets ([email protected]
), which allowed for the creation of tenacious linkages between graphene and template. More importantly, the incorporation of [email protected]
into polymer composites largely pushed up the thermal conductivity, climbing from 0.39 W/m∙K for pristine polyethylene to 8.64 W/m∙K for polyethylene/[email protected]
(60/40). This was accompanied by the simultaneous promotion of mechanical properties (tensile strength of around 30 MPa until 40 wt % addition of [email protected]
), in contrast to the noteworthy decline of tensile strength for MgO-filled composites with over 20 wt.% fillers.
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