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Exfoliated Graphite Nanoplatelets (xGnP) Based Nanocomposites: Its Past, Present, and Future



The research of Exfoliated Graphite Nanoplatelets (xGnP™) originally started back in 1998 in Drzal group at Michigan State University. The original idea was to mimic the reaction of clay nanocomposite, which had been developed from late 80s to early 90s. However, the difference in chemistry soon made it clear that totally different strategy was necessary to exfoliate graphite to make very thin nanomaterials. Later this research was expanded to investigate the properties and fabrication processes of graphene and graphene family nanomaterials (GFN). Since then, a variety of xGnP with different characteristics have been developed and the detailed characteristics and properties of these materials have been analyzed and investigated. The size of these xGnP varies from sub-micron to 100um, the thickness from a few nm to 20nm, and the surface area from 50 m2/g to over 700 m2/g. Following the development of these nanomaterials, many xGnP/polymer nanocomposites have been fabricated and investigated. These nanocomposites include thermoplastics, thermosets, multi-phase hybrid systems, SMC, papers, inks, coatings, and thermal interface materials. These composites often exhibited multi-functionality, which include mechanical, electrical, thermal, barrier, abrasion resistance, and lubricity. These materials have been expected to be used in many applications such as electronics, automotive, biosensors, and batteries. Depending on the requirements of each application, the properties of the xGnP based nanocomposites can be tailored. Based on these research and development efforts, some of the composite materials have already been used in commercial applications. This paper will look back the history of xGnP and xGnP based composite related research from the beginning and summarizes the results. Then, the current development works and future possibilities will be examined.

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