Microplasma Processed Ultrathin Boron Nitride Nanosheets for Polymer Nanocomposites with Enhanced Thermal Transport Performance

Ri-Chao Zhang, Dan Sun, Ai Lu, Sadegh Askari, Manuel Macias-Montero, Paul Joseph, D Dixon, Kostya Ostrikov, P Maguire, D Mariotti

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This Research Article reports on the enhancement of the thermal transport properties of nanocomposite materials containing hexagonal boron nitride in poly(vinyl alcohol) through room-temperature atmospheric pressure direct-current microplasma processing. Results show that the microplasma treatment leads to exfoliation of the hexagonal boron nitride in isopropyl alcohol, reducing the number of stacks from >30 to a few or single layers. The thermal diffusivity of the resulting nanocomposites reaches 8.5 mm2 s–1, 50 times greater than blank poly(vinyl alcohol) and twice that of nanocomposites containing nonplasma treated boron nitride nanosheets. From TEM analysis, we observe much less aggregation of the nanosheets after plasma processing along with indications of an amorphous carbon interfacial layer, which may contribute to stable dispersion of boron nitride nanosheets in the resulting plasma treated colloids.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13567-13572
Number of pages6
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number21
Early online date17 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016



  • boron nitride
  • microplasma
  • thermal transport
  • exfoliation
  • phonon
  • polymer nanocomposites

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