Highly conductive, flexible and functional multi-channel graphene microtube fabricated by electrospray deposition technique
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Highly conductive and flexible graphene-based microtubes (μ-GTs) have many potential applications in catalyst supports and wearable electronics. However, there is a lack of effective method to fabricate the high-performance μ-GTs, especially the multi-channel ones. In this work, the electrostatic spray deposition technique was introduced to fabricate the graphene oxide-coated polyester thread from cost-efficient graphene oxide suspensions. After the polyester thread template was removed along with the reduction of graphene oxide by thermal annealing, the multi-channel μ-GT was prepared successfully. Due to the multiple structure of the cross section and the vertically aligned reduced graphene oxide sheets of the tube wall, the multi-channel μ-GT exhibits many excellent properties, such as highly conductive, good flexibility, and functionalization. For example, the electrical conductivity of the multi-channel μ-GT thermally reduced at 1200 °C is about 1.99 × 104 S m−1 at room temperature and can light a LED as a conductive wire. And the electrical conductivity is nearly invariable in either the straight or bent state though a cyclic bending test up to 800 times. In addition, the TiO2/multi-channel μ-GT composite shows strong photocurrent response in which the multi-channel μ-GT provides a super platform due to the high specific surface area. The high-performance μ-GTs obtained by the simple method opens the immense potentials for application in wearable devices.
The authors acknowledge support from National Natural Science Foundation of China (11604173, 51673103 and 11474277), Project of Shandong Province Higher Educational Science and Technology Program (J16LJ07), Project funded by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2017M612195), and PT acknowledges support from the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare no competing financial interest.