Interfacial Engineering of Silicon Carbide Nanowire/Cellulose Microcrystal Paper toward High Thermal Conductivity

Polymer composites with high thermal conductivity have attracted much attention, along with the rapid development of electronic devices toward higher speed and better performance. However, high interfacial thermal resistance between fillers and matrix or between fillers and fillers has been one of the primary bottlenecks for the effective thermal conduction in polymer composites. Herein, we report on engineering interfacial structure of silicon carbide nanowire/cellulose microcrystal paper by generating silver nanostructures. We show that silver nanoparticle-deposited silicon carbide nanowires as fillers can effectively enhance the thermal conductivity of the matrix. The in-plane thermal conductivity of the resultant composite paper reaches as high as 34.0 W/m K, which is one order magnitude higher than that of conventional polymer composites. Fitting the measured thermal conductivity with theoretical models qualitatively demonstrates that silver nanoparticles bring the lower interfacial thermal resistances both at silicon carbide nanowire/cellulose microcrystal and silicon carbide nanowire/silicon carbide nanowire interfaces. This interfacial engineering approach provides a powerful tool for sophisticated fabrication of high-performance thermal-management materials.