Can graphene-based electrical conductors replace copper?
E141 Scott Lab
Seminar Guest: Dr. Wonmo Kang, Arizona State University
Abstract: Over the last two centuries, copper has been the most common choice of materials to power everything from the first lightbulbs and telegraphs to modern computers and home appliances. Surprisingly, the electrical conductivity of copper wires has been improved by only a few percentage points compared to the International Annealed Copper Standard established in 1914.
In this talk, I will present our innovative graphene-copper (Gr-Cu) composite that integrates macroscopically continuous graphene structures with fine Cu wires. Our experiments combined theoretical studies have shown that the continuous graphene structures significantly improve material properties of the Gr-Cu composites including 450% higher electrical current carrying capacity, 41% higher electrical conductivity, and 224% higher thermal heat dissipation compared to pure copper. Owing to the continuous graphene, our Gr-Cu conductor offers the highest conductivity value reported among other Gr-Cu conductors as well as conventional metal conductors! Inspired by our recent breakthroughs, we are currently developing high-throughput and cost-effective manufacturing techniques for macroscopic graphene-copper conductors with continuous graphene networks for enhanced electrical, thermal, and mechanical properties.
Bio: Wonmo Kang received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and moved to Northwestern University in 2012 as a postdoctoral researcher. In 2014, Dr. Kang won the American Society for Engineering Education-Naval Research Laboratory Fellowship and then became a research scientist at the
US Naval Research Laboratory. Dr. Kang joined Arizona State University in 2020 to continue his research work in the areas of graphene-metal composites for multifunctional applications, in situ material characterization, nano/bio-mechanics, and NEMS/MEMS/bioMEMS. Dr. Kang has published his work in the leading scientific journals including Advanced Materials, Nano Letters, Advanced Functional Materials, Trend in Biotechnologies, Small, Nanoscale, and Acta Biomaterialia. Dr. Kang is the recipient of several awards including the U.S. Air Force Research Lab Summer Faculty Fellowship, the postdoctoral fellowship from the American Society for Engineering Education, the Leidos technical publication awards, and the Outstanding Mechanical Engineering PhD Award.