A review of vapor grown carbon nanofiber/polymer conductive composites
Vapor grown carbon nanofiber (VGCNF)/polymer conductive composites are elegant materials that exhibit superior electrical, electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding effectiveness (SE) and thermal properties compared to conventional conductive polymer composites. This article reviews recent developments in VGCNF/polymer conductive composites. The article starts with a concise and general background about VGCNF production, applications, structure, dimension, and electrical, thermal and mechanical properties. Next composites of VGCNF/polymer are discussed. Composite electrical, EMI SE and thermal properties are elaborated in terms of nanofibers dispersion, distribution and aspect ratio. Special emphasis is paid to dispersion of nanofibers by melt mixing. Influence of other processing methods such as in-situ polymerization, spinning, and solution processing on final properties of VGCNF/polymer composite is also reviewed. We present properties of CNTs and CFs, which are competitive fillers to VGCNFs, and the most significant properties of their composites compared to those of VGCNF/polymer composites. At the conclusion of the article, we summarize the most significant achievements and address the future challenges and tasks in the area related to characterizing VGCNF aspect ratio and dispersion, determining the influence of processing methods and conditions on VGCNF/polymer composites and understanding the structure/property relationship in VGCNF/polymer composites.