Strongly reduced thermal conductivity in hybrid ZnO/nanocellulose thin films
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Utilizing a combination of atomic layer deposition and dip-coating techniques, we have incorporated natural nanocellulose fibers into an inorganic matrix in order to create a layered hybrid inorganic–organic thin-film structure. Such layer-engineered hybrid materials with an unorthodox combination of components are highly potential candidates for exciting new properties. Here, we show a more than an order of magnitude reduction in the cross-plane thermal conductivity for ZnO thin films achieved with the regular inclusion of the cellulose nanofiber layers. We foresee that a similar approach as presented here for ZnO could also be applied to other inorganic materials based on earth-abundant elements to influence their thermal transport properties.
The present work has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013)/ERC Advanced Grant Agreement (No. 339478) and ERC Proof-of-Concept Grant Agreement (No. 712738), Academy of Finland (Nos. 259500, 292431, 303452), the Aalto School of Chemical Technology—VTT Forest Meets Chemistry Programme and from the United States Army Research Office (No. W911NF-16-1-0320).
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Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.