High-performance carbon nanotube-cellulose nanofiber bulk materials with multifunctional applications in thermal management and shielding from electromagnetic interference†
High-performance carbon nanotube-cellulose nanofiber bulk materials (CCNBs) with well-aligned cellulose nanofibers and conductive multilayer structure were fabricated by layer-by-layer assembly. CCNBs were based on cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) with a high density of surface charge as a dispersant for carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and a “green” adhesive for rotary-cut basswood veneers. The lower thickness (0.2 mm) of rotary-cut basswood veneers contributed to the efficiency of chemical pre-treatment. It was a scalable process for the production of high-performance CCNBs from basswood veneers through plywood-like fabrication. The obtained CCNBs exhibited excellent mechanical properties (tensile strength = 547 MPa and modulus = 31.8 GPa) and respectable electrical conductivity (54.2 S cm−1) at low CNT loads (<3.5 wt%). Thanks to the low electrical resistivity and CNT conductive multilayer structure of CCNBs, lightweight and high-strength CCNBs have excellent application prospects in thermal-management and electromagnetic interference-shielding materials.