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Using graphene networks to build bioinspired self-monitoring ceramics

Picot, Olivier T., Rocha, Victoria G., Ferraro, Claudio, Ni, Na, D'Elia, Eleonora, Meille, Sylvain, Chevalier, Jerome, Saunders, Theo, Peijs, Ton, Reece, Mike J. and Saiz, Eduardo 2017. Using graphene networks to build bioinspired self-monitoring ceramics. Nature Communications 8 , 14425. 10.1038/ncomms14425

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The properties of graphene open new opportunities for the fabrication of composites exhibiting unique structural and functional capabilities. However, to achieve this goal we should build materials with carefully designed architectures. Here, we describe the fabrication of ceramic-graphene composites by combining graphene foams with pre-ceramic polymers and spark plasma sintering. The result is a material containing an interconnected, microscopic network of very thin (20–30 nm), electrically conductive, carbon interfaces. This network generates electrical conductivities up to two orders of magnitude higher than those of other ceramics with similar graphene or carbon nanotube contents and can be used to monitor ‘in situ’ structural integrity. In addition, it directs crack propagation, promoting stable crack growth and increasing the fracture resistance by an order of magnitude. These results demonstrate that the rational integration of nanomaterials could be a fruitful path towards building composites combining unique mechanical and functional performances.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Additional Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Publisher: Nature Research
ISSN: 2041-1723
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 February 2017
Date of Acceptance: 20 December 2016
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2020 17:00

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