3D Printed Polyimide Nanocomposite Aerogels for Electromagnetic Interference Shielding and Thermal Management

Advanced Materials Technologies 2023 Volume 8, Issue 14, Article 2202155

Aerogels were listed among the top ten emerging technologies in chemistry by IUPAC in 2022. Their record-breaking properties sparked the emergence of a thriving insulation market, but solutions are sought to promote additional applications. A 3D assembly process based on direct ink writing of “aerogel-in-aerogel” nanocomposites is presented. The printed polyimide-silica aerogels are non-brittle (E = 6.7 MPa) with a super-insulating thermal conductivity (20.3 mW m−1 K−1) and high thermal stability (T5wt% 447 °C). In addition, they display excellent low-loss dielectric properties and microwave transmission over all relevant communication bands and can be functionalized for electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding. The high shape-fidelity printing, combined with laser-induced etching of thermally conductive graphene layers, enable precise thermal management for portable electronics or maintain an extreme temperature gradient (−40 to +50°C) across a millimeter-scale partition.