Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 52, Issue 19, pp 11620–11629 | Cite as

Electrical and mechanical properties of poly(dopamine)-modified copper/reduced graphene oxide composites

  • Zhengfeng Jia
  • Haoqi Li
  • Yao Zhao
  • Laszlo Frazer
  • Bosen Qian
  • Eric Borguet
  • Fei Ren
  • Dmitriy A. Dikin
Energy materials


Surface oxidation is frequently encountered in powder metallurgy of metals and alloys, and it leads to a reduction in their electrical conductivities. Therefore, it is highly desired to remove the naturally occurring oxide layer from the particles surface and to prevent its subsequent formation. A new approach was proposed in this study, where copper particles were mixed with graphene oxide (GO) sheets in an aqueous solution containing dopamine (DA) molecules. It was expected that polymerization of the DA molecules on the surface of the copper particle could promote both a reduction of surface oxide layer and the adhesion of GO sheets to the particles surface. The powder system was then washed, heat-treated in inert atmosphere and compressed at room temperature to form compacts. Electron microscopy revealed nearly ideal dispersion of GO sheets within the copper matrix. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy showed a shift from Cu2+ to Cu+ and metallic copper in the coated and heat-treated samples, and Raman spectroscopy pointed to the increased amount of sp 2 carbon as a result of the heat treatment. All DA/GO-coated and heat-treated compacts exhibited significantly higher electrical conductivity than those that have been made from pure copper powder or were not been heat-treated. Also, indentation measurements showed an increase in microhardness in samples with the shortest, 10 min, coating time and heat-treated at the highest, 600 °C, temperature.



ZFJ thanks the support of Project of Shandong Province Higher Educational Science and Technology Program of China (No. J15LA60) and Open Project of State Key Laboratory of Solid Lubrication, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, China (LSL-1504). FR would like to acknowledge financial support from the Temple University faculty startup fund. The SEM imaging was performed in the CoE-NIC facility at Temple University, which is based on DoD DURIP Award N0014-12-1-0777 from the Office of Naval Research and is sponsored by the College of Engineering. EB and LF acknowledge support as part of the Center for the Computational Design of Functional Layered Materials, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences under Award#DE-SC0012575.

Supplementary material

10853_2017_1307_MOESM1_ESM.docx (9.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 9795 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Materials Science and EngineeringLiaocheng UniversityLiaochengPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Solid Lubrication, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of ChemistryTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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