Impact of Crystallinity on Relationship Between Electrical and Thermal Conductivities in Bulk Graphitic Materials

  • Heinrich BadenhorstEmail author


Highly conductive graphitic materials are of interest in a wide range of industrial applications. The direct measurement of high thermal conductivity values is difficult due to issues with inhomogeneity and thermal response acquisition. Electrical conductivity, on the other hand, can be conveniently and accurately measured. Based on theory and experimental measurements on graphene, it is evident that both quantities depend on the crystalline perfection of the material. This communication provides a robust correlation between thermal and electrical conductivity, for bulk graphitic materials that have chemically bonded structures. The relationship covers a very wide range of materials with varying degrees of crystallinity. Given the high material variability a reasonable correlation is found with a 0.91 coefficient of determination and a 95 % confidence interval of 7.5 %, which is suitable for the quick estimation of thermal conductivity. It was further found that variations in the correlation are discernible between measurements in-plane and across plane, with isotropic materials falling halfway between the two. With further development, this approach can be used to provide a rapid and indirect measurement of high thermal conductivity values.


Crystallinity Electrical conductivity Graphite Thermal conductivity 


Supplementary material

10765_2019_2517_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material: Supplementary material contains a complete list of materials and measurements. (DOCX 15 kb)


  1. 1.
    A.A. Balandin, Nano Lett. 8, 902–907 (2008)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    H. Badenhorst, Carbon 99, 17–25 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    N. Wang, Small 14, 1801346 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    L. Dong et al., Chem. Soc. Rev. 46, 7306–7316 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    N. Nishiki, IEEJ Trans. Fundam. Mater. 123, 1115–1123 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    A.L. Moore, Mater. Today 17, 163–174 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    H. Badenhorst, J. Energy Storage 6, 32–39 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    ASTM C714-17 (ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2017)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    M.A. Worsley, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 132, 14067–14069 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    R. Franz, Ann. Phys. 165, 497–531 (1853)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    R.A. Buerschaper, J. Appl. Phys. 15, 452–454 (1944)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    S. Lee, Science 355, 371–374 (2017)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    M. Jonson, Phys. Rev. B 21, 4223 (1980)ADSMathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    L. Lindsay, Phys. Rev. B 82, 115427 (2010)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    P.G. Klemens, Int. J. Thermophys. 22, 265–275 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Badenhorst H, 2018. A review of the application of carbon materials in solar thermal energy storage. Solar EnergyGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    A.W. Cummings, Adv. Mater. 26, 5079–5094 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    T. Ma, Nat. Commun. 8, 14486 (2017)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    H. Badenhorst, Carbon 66, 674–690 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    C. Uher, Thermal Conductivity of Pure Metals and Alloys (Springer, Berlin, 1991), pp. 426–429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    J. Heremans, Phys. Rev. B 32, 1981 (1985)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    H. Badenhorst, J. Nucl. Mater. 442, 75–82 (2013)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    H. Badenhorst, Trans. R. Soc. S. Afr. 72, 294–300 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    H. Badenhorst, Thermochim. Acta 562, 1–10 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical ScienceThe University of ManchesterManchesterUK

Personalised recommendations