Archival Journals Publications

D. R. Birt, An, K. M., Weathers, A., Shi, L., Tsoi, M., and Li, X. Q., “"Brillouin Light Scattering Spectra as Local Temperature Sensors for Thermal Magnons and Acoustic Phonons,” Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 102, pp. 082401, 2013. LinkAbstract
We demonstrate the use of the micro-Brillouin light scattering (micro-BLS) technique as a local temperature sensor for magnons in a permalloy (Py) thin film and phonons in the glass substrate. When the Py film is uniformly heated, we observe a systematic shift in the frequencies of two thermally excited perpendicular standing spin wave modes. Fitting the temperature dependent magnon spectra allows us to achieve a temperature resolution better than 2.5 K. In addition, we demonstrate that the micro-BLS spectra can be used to measure the local temperature of magnons and the relative temperature shift of phonons across a thermal gradient. Such local temperature sensors are useful for investigating spin caloritronic and thermal transport phenomena in general.
S. Z. Butler, Hollen, S. M., Cao, L. Y., Cui, Y., Gupta, J. A., Gutiérrez, H. R., Heinz, T. F., Hong, S. S., Huang, J. X., Ismach, A. F., Johnston-Halperin, E., Kuno, M., Plashnitsa, V. V., Robinson, R. D., Ruoff, R. S., Salahuddin, S., Shan, J., Shi, L., Spencer, M. G., Terrones, M., Windl, W., and Goldberger, J. E., “Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities in Two-Dimensional Materials Beyond Graphene,” ACS Nano, vol. 7, pp. 2898–2926, 2013. LinkAbstract
Graphene’s success has shown that it is possible to create stable, single and few-atom-thick layers of van der Waals materials, and also that these materials can exhibit fascinating and technologically useful properties. Here we review the state-of-the-art of 2D materials beyond graphene. Initially, we will outline the different chemical classes of 2D materials and discuss the various strategies to prepare single-layer, few-layer, and multilayer assembly materials in solution, on substrates, and on the wafer scale. Additionally, we present an experimental guide for identifying and characterizing single-layer-thick materials, as well as outlining emerging techniques that yield both local and global information. We describe the differences that occur in the electronic structure between the bulk and the single layer and discuss various methods of tuning their electronic properties by manipulating the surface. Finally, we highlight the properties and advantages of single-, few-, and many-layer 2D materials in field-effect transistors, spin- and valley-tronics, thermoelectrics, and topological insulators, among many other applications.
I. Jo, Pettes, M. T., Kim, J. H., Watanabe, K., Taniguchi, T., Yao, Z., and Shi, L., “Thermal Conductivity and Phonon Transport in Suspended Few-Layer Hexagonal Boron Nitride,” Nano Letters, vol. 13, pp. 550–554, 2013. LinkAbstract
The thermal conductivity of suspended few-layer hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) was measured using a microbridge device with built-in resistance thermometers. Based on the measured thermal resistance values of 11–12 atomic layer h-BN samples with suspended lengths ranging between 3 and 7.5 μm, the room-temperature thermal conductivity of a 11-layer sample was found to be about 360 W m–1 K–1, approaching the basal plane value reported for bulk h-BN. The presence of a polymer residue layer on the sample surface was found to decrease the thermal conductivity of a 5-layer h-BN sample to be about 250 W m–1 K–1 at 300 K. Thermal conductivities for both the 5-layer and the 11-layer samples are suppressed at low temperatures, suggesting increasing scattering of low frequency phonons in thin h-BN samples by polymer residue.
L. A. Valentín, Betancourt, J., Fonseca, L. F., Pettes, M. T., Shi, L., Soszyński, M., and Huczko, A., “A Comprehensive Study of Thermoelectric and Transport Properties of β-Silicon Carbide Nanowires,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 114, pp. 184301, 2013. LinkAbstract
The temperature dependence of the Seebeck coefficient, the electrical and thermal conductivities of individual β-silicon carbide nanowires produced by combustion in a calorimetric bomb were studied using a suspended micro-resistance thermometry device that allows four-point probe measurements to be conducted on each nanowire. Additionally, crystal structure and growth direction for each measured nanowire was directly obtained by transmission electron microscopy analysis. The Fermi level, the carrier concentration, and mobility of each nanostructure were determined using a combination of Seebeck coefficient and electrical conductivity measurements, energy band structure and transport theory calculations. The temperature dependence of the thermal and electrical conductivities of the nanowires was explained in terms of contributions from boundary, impurity, and defect scattering.
X. Chen, Weathers, A., Salta, D., Zhang, L. B., Zhou, J. S., Goodenough, J. B., and Shi, L., “Effects of (Al,Ge) Double Doping on the Thermoelectric Properties of Higher Manganese Silicides,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 114, pp. 173705, 2013. LinkAbstract
Experiments and analysis have been carried out to investigate the effects of Al and (Al,Ge) doping on the microstructure and thermoelectric properties of polycrystalline higher manganese silicide (HMS) samples, which were prepared by solid-state reaction, ball milling, and followed by spark plasma sintering. It has been found that Al doping effectively increases the hole concentration, which leads to an increase in the electrical conductivity and power factor. By introducing the second dopant Ge into Al-doped HMS, the electrical conductivity is increased, and the Seebeck coefficient is decreased as a result of further increased hole concentration. The peak power factor is found to occur at a hole concentration between 1.8 × 1021 and 2.2 × 1021 cm−3 measured at room temperature. The (Al,Ge)-doped HMS samples show lower power factors owing to their higher hole concentrations. The mobility of Mn(Al0.0035 Ge ySi0.9965-y)1.8 with y = 0.035 varies approximately as T−3/2 above 200 K, suggesting acoustic phonon scattering is the dominant scattering mechanism. The thermal conductivity of HMS does not change appreciably by Al or (Al,Ge) doping. The maximum ZT of (Al,Ge)-doped HMS is 0.57 at 823 K, which is similar to the highest value found in the Al-doped HMS samples. The ZT values were reduced in the Mn(Al0.0035 Ge ySi0.9965-y)1.8 samples with high Ge concentration of y = 0.025 and 0.035, because of reduced power factor. In addition, a two-band model was employed to show that the hole contribution to the thermal conductivity dominates the bipolar and electron contributions for all samples from 300 to 823 K and accounts for about 12% of the total thermal conductivity at about 800 K.
M. T. Pettes, Maassen, J., Jo, I., Lundstrom, M., and Shi, L., “Effects of Surface Band Bending and Scattering on Thermoelectric Transport in Suspended Bismuth Telluride Nanoplates,” Nano Letters, vol. 13, no. 11, pp. 5316–5322, 2013. LinkAbstract
A microdevice was used to measure the in-plane thermoelectric properties of suspended bismuth telluride nanoplates from 9 to 25 nm thick. The results reveal a suppressed Seebeck coefficient together with a general trend of decreasing electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity with decreasing thickness. While the electrical conductivity of the nanoplates is still within the range reported for bulk Bi2Te3, the total thermal conductivity for nanoplates less than 20 nm thick is well below the reported bulk range. These results are explained by the presence of surface band bending and diffuse surface scattering of electrons and phonons in the nanoplates, where pronounced n-type surface band bending can yield suppressed and even negative Seebeck coefficient in unintentionally p-type doped nanoplates.
K. D. Bi, Weathers, A., Matsushita, S., Pettes, M. T., Goh, M. J., Akagi, K., and Shi, L., “Iodine Doping Effects on the Lattice Thermal Conductivity of Oxidized Polyacetylene Nanofibers,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 114, pp. 194302, 2013. LinkAbstract
Thermal transport in oxidized polyacetylene (PA) nanofibers with diameters in the range between 74 and 126 nm is measured with the use of a suspended micro heater device. With the error due to both radiation and contact thermal resistance corrected via a differential measurement procedure, the obtained thermal conductivity of oxidized PA nanofibers varies in the range between 0.84 and 1.24 W m−1 K−1 near room temperature, and decreases by 40%–70% after iodine doping. It is also found that the thermal conductivity of oxidized PA nanofibers increases with temperature between 100 and 350 K. Because of exposure to oxygen during sample preparation, the PA nanofibers are oxidized to be electrically insulating before and after iodine doping. The measurement results reveal that iodine doping can result in enhanced lattice disorder and reduced lattice thermal conductivity of PA nanofibers. If the oxidation issue can be addressed via further research to increase the electrical conductivity via doping, the observed suppressed lattice thermal conductivity in doped polymer nanofibers can be useful for the development of such conducting polymer nanostructures for thermoelectric energy conversion.
R. Agarwal, Singh, V., Jurney, P., Shi, L., Sreenivasan, S. V., and Roy, K., “Mammalian Cells Preferentially Internaliz Hydrogel Nanodiscs over Nanorods and Use Shape-Specific Uptake Mechanisms,” Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, vol. 110, no. 43, pp. 17247–17252, 2013. LinkAbstract
Size, surface charge, and material compositions are known to influence cell uptake of nanoparticles. However, the effect of particle geometry, i.e., the interplay between nanoscale shape and size, is less understood. Here we show that when shape is decoupled from volume, charge, and material composition, under typical in vitro conditions, mammalian epithelial and immune cells preferentially internalize disc-shaped, negatively charged hydrophilic nanoparticles of high aspect ratios compared with nanorods and lower aspect-ratio nanodiscs. Endothelial cells also prefer nanodiscs, however those of intermediate aspect ratio. Interestingly, unlike nanospheres, larger-sized hydrogel nanodiscs and nanorods are internalized more efficiently than their smallest counterparts. Kinetics, efficiency, and mechanisms of uptake are all shape-dependent and cell type-specific. Although macropinocytosis is used by both epithelial and endothelial cells, epithelial cells uniquely internalize these nanoparticles using the caveolae-mediated pathway. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells, on the other hand, use clathrin-mediated uptake for all shapes and show significantly higher uptake efficiency compared with epithelial cells. Using results from both upright and inverted cultures, we propose that nanoparticle internalization is a complex manifestation of three shape- and size-dependent parameters: particle surface-to-cell membrane contact area, i.e., particle–cell adhesion, strain energy for membrane deformation, and sedimentation or local particle concentration at the cell membrane. These studies provide a fundamental understanding on how nanoparticle uptake in different mammalian cells is influenced by the nanoscale geometry and is critical for designing improved nanocarriers and predicting nanomaterial toxicity.
M. M. Sadeghi, Jo, I., and Shi, L., “Phonon-Interface Scattering in Multi-layered Graphene on an Amorphous Support,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 110, pp. 16321–16326, 2013. LinkAbstract
The recent studies of thermal transport in suspended, supported, and encased graphene just began to uncover the richness of two-dimensional phonon physics, which is relevant to the performance and reliability of graphene-based functional materials and devices. Among the outstanding questions are the exact causes of the suppressed basal-plane thermal conductivity measured in graphene in contact with an amorphous material, and the layer thickness needed for supported or embedded multilayer graphene (MLG) to recover the high thermal conductivity of graphite. Here we use sensitive in-plane thermal transport measurements of graphene samples on amorphous silicon dioxide to show that full recovery to the thermal conductivity of the natural graphite source has yet to occur even after the MLG thickness is increased to 34 layers, considerably thicker than previously thought. This seemingly surprising finding is explained by long intrinsic scattering mean free paths of phonons in graphite along both basal-plane and cross-plane directions, as well as partially diffuse scattering of MLG phonons by the MLG-amorphous support interface, which is treated by an interface scattering model developed for highly anisotropic materials. Based on the phonon transmission coefficient calculated from reported experimental thermal interface conductance results, phonons emerging from the interface consist of a large component that is scattered across the interface, making rational choice of the support materials a potential approach to increasing the thermal conductivity of supported MLG.
A. Weathers, Bi, K. D., Pettes, M. T., and Shi, L., “Reexamination of Thermal Transport Measurements of a Low-Thermal Conductance Nanowire with a Suspended Micro-Device,” Review of Scientific Instruments, vol. 84, pp. 084903, 2013. LinkAbstract
An increasingly used technique for measuring the thermal conductance of a nanowire is based on a suspended micro-device with built-in resistance thermometers. In the past, the technique has been limited to samples with thermal conductance larger than 1 × 10−9 W/K because of temperature fluctuations in the sample environment and the presence of background heat transfer through residual gas molecules and radiation between the two thermometers. In addition, parasitic heat loss from the long supporting beams and asymmetry in the fabricated device results in two additional errors, which have been ignored in previous use of this method. To address these issues, we present a comprehensive measurement approach, where the device asymmetry is determined by conducting thermal measurements with two opposite heat flow directions along the nanowire, the background heat transfer is eliminated by measuring the differential heat transfer signal between the nanowire device and a reference device without a nanowire sample, and the parasitic heat loss from the supporting beams is obtained by measuring the average temperature rise of one of the beams. This technique is demonstrated on a nanofiber sample with a thermal conductance of 3.7 × 10−10 W/K, against a background conductance of 8.2 × 10−10 W/K at 320 K temperature. The results reveal the need to reduce the background thermal conductance in order to employ the micro-device to measure a nanowire sample with the thermal conductance less than 1 × 10−10 W/K.
P. Jurney, Agarwal, R., Singh, V., Roy, K., Sreenivasan, S. V., and Shi, L., “Size-Dependent Nanoparticle Margination and Adhesion Propensity in a Microchannel,” Journal of Nanotechnology in Engineering and Medicine, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 031002, 2013. LinkAbstract
Intravenous injection of nanoparticles as drug delivery vehicles is a common practice in clinical trials of therapeutic agents to target specific cancerous or pathogenic sites. The vascular flow dynamics of nanocarriers (NCs) in human microcapillaries play an important role in the ultimate efficacy of this drug delivery method. This article reports an experimental study of the effect of nanoparticle size on their margination and adhesion propensity in microfluidic channels of a half-elliptical cross section. Spherical polystyrene particles ranging in diameter from 60 to 970 nm were flown in the microchannels and individual particles adhered to either the top or bottom wall of the channel were imaged using fluorescence microscopy. When the number concentration of particles in the flow was kept constant, the percentage of nanoparticles adhered to the top wall increased with decreasing diameter (d), with the number of particles adhered to the top wall following a d−3 trend. When the volume concentration of particles in solution was kept constant, no discernible trend was found. This experimental finding is explained by the competition between the Brownian force promoting margination and repulsive particle–particle electrostatic forces retarding adhesion to the wall. The 970 nm particles were found to adhere to the bottom wall much more than to the top wall for each of the three physiologically relevant shear rates tested, revealing the effect of gravitational force on the large particles. These findings on the flow behavior of spherical nanoparticles in artificial microcapillaries provide further insight for the rational design of NCs for targeted cancer therapeutics.
K. Davami, Weathers, A., Kheirabi, N., Mortazavi, B., Pettes, M. T., Shi, L., Lee, J. S., and Meyyappan, M., “Thermal Conductivity of ZnTe Nanowires,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 114, pp. 134314, 2013. LinkAbstract
The thermal conductivity of individual ZnTe nanowires (NWs) was measured using a suspended micro-bridge device with built-in resistance thermometers. A collection of NWs with different diameters were measured, and strong size-dependent thermal conductivity was observed in these NWs. Compared to bulk ZnTe, NWs with diameters of 280 and 107 nm showed approximately three and ten times reduction in thermal conductivity, respectively. Such a reduction can be attributed to phonon-surface scattering. The contact thermal resistance and the intrinsic thermal conductivities of the nanowires were obtained through a combination of experiments and molecular dynamic simulations. The obtained thermal conductivities agree well with theoretical predictions.
E. Fleming, Wen, S., Shi, L., and da Silva, A. K., “Thermodynamic Model of a Thermal Storage Air Conditioning System with Dynamic Behavior,” Applied Energy, vol. 112, pp. 160–169, 2013. LinkAbstract
Highlights •We developed an automotive thermal storage air conditioning system model. •The thermal storage unit utilizes phase change materials. •We use semi-analytic solution to the coupled phase change and forced convection. •We model the airside heat exchange using the NTU method. •The system model can incorporate dynamic inputs, e.g. variable inlet airflow. A thermodynamic model was developed to predict transient behavior of a thermal storage system, using phase change materials (PCMs), for a novel electric vehicle climate conditioning application. The main objectives of the paper are to consider the system’s dynamic behavior, such as a dynamic air flow rate into the vehicle’s cabin, and to characterize the transient heat transfer process between the thermal storage unit and the vehicle’s cabin, while still maintaining accurate solution to the complex phase change heat transfer. The system studied consists of a heat transfer fluid circulating between either of the on-board hot and cold thermal storage units, which we refer to as thermal batteries, and a liquid–air heat exchanger that provides heat exchange with the incoming air to the vehicle cabin. Each thermal battery is a shell-and-tube configuration where a heat transfer fluid flows through parallel tubes, which are surrounded by PCM within a larger shell. The system model incorporates computationally inexpensive semi-analytic solution to the conjugated laminar forced convection and phase change problem within the battery and accounts for airside heat exchange using the Number of Transfer Units (NTUs) method for the liquid–air heat exchanger. Using this approach, we are able to obtain an accurate solution to the complex heat transfer problem within the battery while also incorporating the impact of the airside heat transfer on the overall system performance. The implemented model was benchmarked against a numerical study for a melting process and against full system experimental data for solidification using paraffin wax as the PCM. Through modeling, we demonstrate the importance of capturing the airside heat exchange impact on system performance, and we investigate system response to dynamic operating conditions, e.g., air recirculation.
C. Baker, Vuppuluri, P., Shi, L., and Hall, M. J., “Model of Heat Exchangers for Waste Heat Recovery from Diesel Engine Exhaust for Thermoelectric Power Generation,” Journal of Electronic Materials , vol. 41, pp. 1290–1297, 2012. LinkAbstract
The performance and operating characteristics of a hypothetical thermoelectric generator system designed to extract waste heat from the exhaust of a medium-duty turbocharged diesel engine were modeled. The finite-difference model consisted of two integrated submodels: a heat exchanger model and a thermoelectric device model. The heat exchanger model specified a rectangular cross-sectional geometry with liquid coolant on the cold side, and accounted for the difference between the heat transfer rate from the exhaust and that to the coolant. With the spatial variation of the thermoelectric properties accounted for, the thermoelectric device model calculated the hot-side and cold-side heat flux for the temperature boundary conditions given for the thermoelectric elements, iterating until temperature and heat flux boundary conditions satisfied the convection conditions for both exhaust and coolant, and heat transfer in the thermoelectric device. A downhill simplex method was used to optimize the parameters that affected the electrical power output, including the thermoelectric leg height, thermoelectric n-type to p-type leg area ratio, thermoelectric leg area to void area ratio, load electrical resistance, exhaust duct height, coolant duct height, fin spacing in the exhaust duct, location in the engine exhaust system, and number of flow paths within the constrained package volume. The calculation results showed that the configuration with 32 straight fins was optimal across the 30-cm-wide duct for the case of a single duct with total height of 5.5 cm. In addition, three counterflow parallel ducts or flow paths were found to be an optimum number for the given size constraint of 5.5 cm total height, and parallel ducts with counterflow were a better configuration than serpentine flow. Based on the reported thermoelectric properties of MnSi1.75 and Mg2Si0.5Sn0.5, the maximum net electrical power achieved for the three parallel flow paths in a counterflow arrangement was 1.06 kW for package volume of 16.5 L and exhaust flow enthalpy flux of 122 kW.
R. Agarwal, Singh, V., Jurney, P., Shi, L., Sreenivasan, S. V., and Roy, K., “Scalable Imprinting of Shape-Specific Polymeric Nanocarriers using a Release Layer of Switchable Water Solubility,” ACS Nano, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 2524–2531, 2012. LinkAbstract
There is increasing interest in fabricating shape-specific polymeric nano- and microparticles for efficient delivery of drugs and imaging agents. The size and shape of these particles could significantly influence their transport properties and play an important role in in vivo biodistribution, targeting, and cellular uptake. Nanoimprint lithography methods, such as jet-and-flash imprint lithography (J-FIL), provide versatile top-down processes to fabricate shape-specific, biocompatible nanoscale hydrogels that can deliver therapeutic and diagnostic molecules in response to disease-specific cues. However, the key challenges in top-down fabrication of such nanocarriers are scalable imprinting with biological and biocompatible materials, ease of particle-surface modification using both aqueous and organic chemistry as well as simple yet biocompatible harvesting. Here we report that a biopolymer-based sacrificial release layer in combination with improved nanocarrier-material formulation can address these challenges. The sacrificial layer improves scalability and ease of imprint-surface modification due to its switchable solubility through simple ion exchange between monovalent and divalent cations. This process enables large-scale bionanoimprinting and efficient, one-step harvesting of hydrogel nanoparticles in both water- and organic-based imprint solutions.
L. Shi, “Thermal and Thermoelectric Transport in Nanostructures and Low-Dimensional Systems,” Nanoscale and Microscale Thermophysical Engineering, vol. 16, pp. 79–116, 2012. LinkAbstract
Significant progress has been made in recent studies of thermal and thermoelectric transport phenomena in nanostructures and low-dimensional systems. This article reviews several intriguing quantum and classical size effects on thermal and thermoelectric properties that have been predicted by theoretical calculations or observed in experiments. Attention is focused on the Casimir limit in phonon boundary scattering and the effect of phonon confinement on the lattice thermal conductivity of semiconductor nanowires (NWs) and nanomeshes; the effects of thickness, lateral size, and interface interaction on the lattice thermal conductivity of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene; and the phonon-drag thermopower and quantum size effects on the thermoelectric power factor in semiconductor NWs. Further experimental and theoretical investigations are suggested for better understanding of some of these nanoscale transport phenomena.
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M. M. Sadeghi, Pettes, M. T., and Shi, L., “Thermal Transport in Graphene,” Solid State Communications, vol. 152, pp. 1321–1330, 2012. LinkAbstract
The recent advances in graphene isolation and synthesis methods have enabled potential applications of graphene in nanoelectronics and thermal management, and have offered a unique opportunity for investigation of phonon transport in two-dimensional materials. In this review, current understanding of phonon transport in graphene is discussed along with associated experimental and theoretical investigation techniques. Several theories and experiments have suggested that the absence of interlayer phonon scattering in suspended monolayer graphene can result in higher intrinsic basal plane thermal conductivity than that for graphite. However, accurate experimental thermal conductivity data of clean suspended graphene at different temperatures are still lacking. It is now known that contact of graphene with an amorphous solid or organic matrix can suppress phonon transport in graphene, although further efforts are needed to better quantify the relative roles of interface roughness scattering and phonon leakage across the interface and to examine the effects of other support materials. Moreover, opportunities remain to verify competing theories regarding mode specific scattering mechanisms and contributions to the total thermal conductivity of suspended and supported graphene, especially regarding the contribution from the flexural phonons. Several measurements have yielded consistent interface thermal conductance values between graphene and different dielectrics and metals. A challenge has remained in establishing a comprehensive theoretical model of coupled phonon and electron transport across the highly anisotropic and dissimilar interface.
M. T. Pettes, Ji, H. X., Ruoff, R. S., and Shi, L., “Thermal Transport in Three-Dimensional Foam Architectures of Few-Layer Graphene and Ultrathin Graphite,” Nano Letters, vol. 12, no. 6, pp. 2959–-2964, 2012. LinkAbstract
At a very low solid concentration of 0.45±0.09 vol %, the room-temperature thermal conductivity (κGF) of freestanding graphene-based foams (GF), comprised of few-layer graphene (FLG) and ultrathin graphite (UG) synthesized through the use of methane chemical vapor deposition on reticulated nickel foams, was increased from 0.26 to 1.7 W m–1 K–1 after the etchant for the sacrificial nickel support was changed from an aggressive hydrochloric acid solution to a slow ammonium persulfate etchant. In addition, κGF showed a quadratic dependence on temperature between 11 and 75 K and peaked at about 150 K, where the solid thermal conductivity (κG) of the FLG and UG constituents reached about 1600 W m–1 K–1, revealing the benefit of eliminating internal contact thermal resistance in the continuous GF structure.
X. Chen, Weathers, A., Moore, A. L., Zhou, J. S., and Shi, L., “Thermoelectric Properties of Cold-Pressed Higher Manganese Silicides for Waste Heat Recovery,” Journal of Electronic Materials, vol. 41, pp. 1564–1572, 2012. LinkAbstract
Polycrystalline higher manganese silicide (HMS) samples with different grain sizes have been obtained by cold-pressing HMS powder under high pressure of about 3 GPa and postprocessing annealing. It was found that the cold-pressing process can reduce the grain size of HMS to 120 nm. The cold-pressed pellets were then annealed at different temperatures to obtain a series of samples with different grain sizes. For comparison, an additional sample was prepared in a regular die under low pressure of 300 MPa, which resulted in lower density and higher porosity than the high-pressure process. For these samples, the effect of grain size and porosity on Seebeck coefficient was not as apparent as that on electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity. The electrical conductivity of the cold-pressed samples increases as the grains grow, and the grain boundary connection is improved during the postprocessing annealing. A significant reduction in the thermal conductivity of the cold-pressed samples was observed. The sample prepared with the low-pressure pressing shows the lowest thermal conductivity of 1.2 W m−1 K−1 at 300 K, which can be attributed to its high porosity of 34% and low phonon transmission coefficient through the grain boundaries. The low-temperature thermal conductivity data of all samples were analyzed to obtain the phonon transmission coefficient and the Kapitza resistance at the grain boundaries.
H. X. Ji, Zhang, L. L., Pettes, M. T., Li, H. F., Chen, S. S., Shi, L., Piner, R., and Ruoff, R. S., “"Ultra-Thin Graphite Foam: A Three-Dimensional Conductive Network for Battery Electrodes,” Nano Letters, vol. 12, pp. 2446–2451, 2012. LinkAbstract
We report the use of free-standing, lightweight, and highly conductive ultrathin graphite foam (UGF), loaded with lithium iron phosphate (LFP), as a cathode in a lithium ion battery. At a high charge/discharge current density of 1280 mA g–1, the specific capacity of the LFP loaded on UGF was 70 mAh g–1, while LFP loaded on Al foil failed. Accounting for the total mass of the electrode, the maximum specific capacity of the UGF/LFP cathode was 23% higher than that of the Al/LFP cathode and 170% higher than that of the Ni-foam/LFP cathode. Using UGF, both a higher rate capability and specific capacity can be achieved simultaneously, owing to its conductive (1.3 × 105 S m–1 at room temperature) and three-dimensional lightweight (9.5 mg cm–3) graphitic structure. Meanwhile, UGF presents excellent electrochemical stability comparing to that of Al and Ni foils, which are generally used as conductive substrates in lithium ion batteries. Moreover, preparation of the UGF electrode was facile, cost-effective, and compatible with various electrochemically active materials.