Enhanced thermal conductivity of epoxy composites filled with tetrapod-shaped ZnO

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Epoxy composites with ZnO powders characterized by different structures as inclusion are prepared and their thermal properties are studied. The experimental results demonstrate that the epoxy resins filled by tetrapod-shaped ZnO (T-ZnO) whiskers have the superior thermal transport property in comparison to ZnO micron particles (ZnO MPs). The thermal conductivity of ZnO/epoxy and T-ZnO/epoxy composites in different mass fraction (10, 20, 30, 40, 50 wt%) are respectively investigated and the suitable models are compared to explain the enhancement effect of thermal conductivity. The thermal conductivity of T-ZnO/epoxy composites with 50 wt% filler reaches 4.38 W m-1 K-1, approximately 1816% enhancement as compared to neat epoxy. In contrast, the same mass fraction of ZnO MPs are incorporated into epoxy matrix showed less improvement on thermal conduction properties. This is because T-ZnO whiskers act as a thermal conductance bridge in the epoxy matrix. In addition, the other thermal properties of T-ZnO/epoxy composites are also improved. Furthermore, the T-ZnO/epoxy composite also presents a much reduced coefficient of thermal expansion (∼28.1 ppm K-1) and increased glass transition temperature (215.7 °C). This strategy meets the requirement for the rapid development of advanced electronic packaging.




Guo, L., Zhang, Z., Kang, R., Chen, Y., Hou, X., Wu, Y., … Yu, J. (2018). Enhanced thermal conductivity of epoxy composites filled with tetrapod-shaped ZnO. RSC Advances, 8(22), 12337–12343. https://doi.org/10.1039/c8ra01470a

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