4 years ago

Reduced and Surface-Modified Graphene Oxide with Nonlinear Resistivity

Reduced and Surface-Modified Graphene Oxide with Nonlinear Resistivity
Martin Wåhlander, Eva Malmström, Anna Carlmark, Henrik Hillborg, Richard L. Andersson, Fritjof Nilsson
Field-grading materials (FGMs) are used to reduce the probability for electrical breakdowns in critical regions of electrical components and are therefore of great importance. Usually, FGMs are heavily filled (40 vol.%) with semi-conducting or conducting particles. Here, polymer-grafted reduced graphene oxide (rGO) is used as a filler to accomplish percolated networks at very low filling ratios (<2 vol.%) in a semi-crystalline polymer matrix: poly(ethylene-co-butyl acrylate) (EBA). Various simulation models are used to predict the percolation threshold and the flake-to-flake distances, to complement the experimental results. A substantial increase in thermal stability of rGO is observed after surface modification, either by silanization or subsequent polymerizations. The non-linear DC resistivity of neat and silanized rGO and its trapping of charge-carriers in semi-crystalline EBA are demonstrated for the first time. It is shown that the polymer-grafted rGO improve the dispersibility in the EBA-matrix and that the graft length controls the inter-flake distances (i.e. charge-carrier hopping distances). By the appropriate selection of graft lengths, both highly resistive materials at 10 kV mm-1 and FGMs with a large and distinct drop in resistivity (six decades) are obtained, followed by saturation. The nonlinear drop in resistivity is attributed to narrow inter-flake distance distributions of grafted rGO. Tunable non-linear resistivity followed by saturation was demonstrated for polymer-grafted and silanized rGO in EBA-matrix for the first time. The nonlinearity and onset were tuned by the length of polymer-grafts, which provided controlled inter-flake distances. The surface modifications stabilized the rGO thermally and the rGO-composites are therefore interesting as field-grading materials in compact HVDC cable accessories (cable terminations and joints).

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/marc.201700291

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