Use of BN-coated copper nanowires in nanocomposites with enhanced thermal conductivity and electrical insulation

  • Yongcun ZhouEmail author
  • Feng Liu
  • Chia-Yun ChenEmail author
Brief Communication


Copper nanowires (CuNWs), as one-dimensional nanostructures, could be highly helpful as thermal management tools because of inherent thermal conductivity, high aspect ratio, and low cost. In this study, boron nitride-coated copper nanowires (CuNWs@BN) were successfully synthesized by an amenable and rapid technique and incorporated into synthetic polyimide (PI) to increase thermal conductivity while providing electrical insulation to nanocomposites. Maximal thermal conductivity in CuNWs@BN/PI composites containing fillers loading up to 20% volume rose to 4.12 W/mK, indicating an amelioration of 23 times in comparison with that of pure PI, while volume resistivity remained greater than 4.8 × 1013 Ω cm. Such nanocomposites with high thermal conductivity and electrical insulation could constitute important tools for thermal management.

Graphical abstract

A distinct core-shell structure comprising boron nitride-coated copper nanowire was successfully synthesized using a flexible and rapid technique and incorporated into synthetic polyimide matrix for enhanced thermal conductivity and electrically insulation of the nanocomposite film.


Copper nanowires (CuNWs) Boron nitride (BN) Thermal properties Electrical properties Polymer composites materials (PCMs) 



We would like to thank the Analytical & Testing Center of Northwestern Polytechnical University for their equipment supporting.


This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51707159), the Natural Science Foundation of Shaanxi Province (2017JM5073), the State Key Laboratory of Electrical Insulation and Power Equipment (EIPE17205), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (3102017zy047).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Materials Science and EngineeringNorthwestern Polytechnical UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Electrical Insulation and Power EquipmentXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan

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