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Conductive Polyamide–Graphene Composite Fabric via Interface Engineering

Barjasteh, Ehsan, Sutanto, Christie, Nepal, Dhriti
Langmuir 2019 v.35 no.6 pp. 2261-2269
Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, boiling point, coatings, crystal structure, energy, fabrics, graphene, nanocomposites, polyamides, scanning electron microscopy, solubility, solvents, sonication
Conductive fabrics have received significant attention because of their widespread applications from smart textiles to energy storage devices. Conductive colloidal materials are preferred as a coating on the fabric to achieve desirable electronic conductivity; however, obtaining a uniform coverage with a simple and effective route is a challenge. Herein, we report exfoliated graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) in low boiling point solvents and their subsequent coating onto a polyamide fabric surface. Few-layered (average <7 layers) GNPs were obtained by optimizing solubility parameters of solvent mixtures and sonication time. Raman spectroscopy showed that the ID/IG ratio changed from 0.33 to 0.38 in the GNP solution before and after the sonication, confirming an insignificant increase in defects on the basal plane of graphene after sonication treatment. Uniform coating of GNPs was obtained by optimizing concentration and sonication times. Scanning electron microscopy showed a uniform coverage of GNPs, and the surface resistivity of the polyamide fabric decreased from infinity to ∼40 kΩ after 4 h of coating. X-ray diffraction analysis confirmed the minimal effect on the fabric crystallinity during processing. This interface engineering approach is simple and scalable, and it is applicable for the coating of different polymeric fabrics with a great promise in electronic textiles.