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Enhanced X-Band Electromagnetic-Interference Shielding Performance of Layer-Structured Fabric-Supported Polyaniline/Cobalt–Nickel Coatings

Zhao, Hang, Hou, Lei, Bi, Siyi, Lu, Yinxiang
ACS applied materials & interfaces 2017 v.9 no.38 pp. 33059-33070
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, adhesion, coatings, cobalt, durability, electromagnetic interference, fabrics, interphase, peers, polymerization, polymers, porphyrins, scanning electron microscopy, synergism
Despite tremendous efforts, fabrication of lightweight conductive fabrics for high-performance X-band electromagnetic-interference (EMI) shielding remains a daunting technical challenge. We herein report an ingenious and efficient strategy to deposit polyaniline/cobalt–nickel (PANI/Co–Ni) coatings onto lyocell fabrics that involves consecutive steps of in situ polymerization and electroless plating. The PANI–Co−Ni ternary-component system successfully induced a synergistic effect from EM wave-absorption and EM wave-reflection and, moreover, upgraded the match level between magnetic loss and dielectric loss. By the judicious control of polymerization cycles and plating time, low-weight fabric-supported PANI/Co–Ni composites (with PANI and Co–Ni loading of 2.86 and 3.99 mg·cm–², respectively) were prepared, which displayed relatively high EMI shielding effectiveness (SE) (33.95–46.22 dB) when compared to their single peers (PANI-coated fabric and Co–Ni-coated fabric) or even the sum of them. Inspired by the so-called “1 + 1 > 2” phenomenon, here we demonstrated that there was an EMI SE enhancement effect in this conductive polymer/metal system that may be associated with interphase chemical and/or physical interactions. Further analysis revealed that this EMI SE enhancement effect was evident under circumstances of relatively low metal content and became weak with the increase of metal content. The mechanisms involved were interpreted through a series of fundamental measurements, including Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission-scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), and vector network analysis (VNA). The linkage between PANI and Co–Ni coatings was in the form of Co–N/Ni–N, which mimics the atomic configuration occurring in cobalt porphyrins. The Co–N/Ni–N configuration strengthened the interphase adhesion and thus resulted in shielding fabrics with high durability for practical applications.