Explosive percolation yields highly-conductive polymer nanocomposites

Meloni, Manuela, Large, Matthew, Gonzalez Dominguez, Jose Miguel, Victor-Roman, Sandra, Fratta, Giuseppe, Istif, Emin, Tomes, Oliver, Salvage, Jonathan, Ewels, Christopher, Palaez-Fernandez, Mario, Arenal, Raul, Benito, Ana, Maser, Wolfgang, King, Alice, Ajayan, Pulickel, Ogilvie, Sean and Dalton, Alan (2022) Explosive percolation yields highly-conductive polymer nanocomposites. Nature Communications, 13. pp. 1-9. ISSN 2041-1723

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Explosive percolation is an experimentally-elusive phenomenon where network connectivity coincides with onset of an additional modification of the system; materials with correlated localisation of percolating particles and emergent conductive paths can realise sharp transitions and high conductivities characteristic of the explosively-grown network. Nanocomposites present a structurally- and chemically-varied playground to realise explosive percolation in practically-applicable systems but this is yet to be exploited by design. Herein, we demonstrate composites of graphene oxide and synthetic polymer latex which form segregated networks, leading to low percolation threshold and localisation of conductive pathways. In situ reduction of the graphene oxide at temperatures of <150 °C drives chemical modification of the polymer matrix to produce species with phenolic groups, which are known crosslinking agents. This leads to conductivities exceeding those of dense-packed networks of reduced graphene oxide, illustrating the potential of explosive percolation by design to realise low-loading composites with dramatically-enhanced electrical transport properties.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Research Centres and Groups: Materials Physics Group
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2022 10:12
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2023 11:09
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/109053

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