Embedding two-dimensional graphene array in ceramic matrix

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Science Advances  23 Sep 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 39, eabb1338
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb1338


Dispersing two-dimensional (2D) graphene sheets in 3D material matrix becomes a promising route to access the exceptional mechanical and electrical properties of individual graphene sheets in bulk quantities for macroscopic applications. However, this is highly restricted by the uncontrolled distribution and orientation of the graphene sheets in 3D structures as well as the weak graphene-matrix bonding and poor load transfer. Here, we propose a previously unreported avenue to embed ordered 2D graphene array into ceramics matrix, where the catastrophic fracture failure mode of brittle ceramics was transformed into stable crack propagation behavior with 250 to 500% improvement in the mechanical toughness. An unprecedentedly low dry sliding friction coefficient of 0.06 in bulk ceramics was obtained mainly due to the inhibition of the microcrack propagation by the ordered 2D graphene array. These unique and low-cost 2D graphene array/ceramic composites may find applications in severe environments with superior structural and functional properties.

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