Covalent coupling regulated thermal conductivity of Poly(vinyl alcohol)/boron nitride composite film based on silane molecular structure
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Creating covalent bonds between inorganic fillers and polymer matrix is an effective method to enhance the thermal conductivity (TC) of composite materials, while the detailed mechanism is still not clear. By introducing different silane coupling agents (SCAs) bonding poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and functionalized boron nitride (fBN), intrinsic relationship between molecular structure of silane crosslinkers and TC of PVA-fBN composite has been systematically investigated. The results show that the SCAs molecules with short side chain, i.e. vinyl triethoxysilane (VTES) and tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS), increase the TC of composite polymer, with maximum value of 1.636 W/m·K, which is 337.3% of that of PVA/fBN. In contrast, 3-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxy silane (GPTMS) with long side chain decreases the TC to 54.4% of that of PVA-fBN. The number of hydrolyzable Si-O-R of SCAs molecules affects the TC of PVA-fBN composite through controlling the self-condensation degree of SCAs. Integrated with atomistic simulations, these findings provide new insights for the design of polymer-based thermal management materials.