The remarkable properties of high-surface area carbons, compatible in that with carbon nanotubes, provide a tremendous opportunity for fabrication, even at very low filler concentrations, of composites with outstanding electrical and electromagnetic properties. Due to their multifunctional properties, carbon/polymer composites can be widely used as relatively low weight and ultra-thin effective electric and optical components, as well as electromagnetic (EM) shielding and absorbing coatings. At the same time, ultra-lightweight carbon foams, being highly conductive, are expected to have very high EM shielding ability due to their cellular structure. Moreover, carbon foams have extremely low cost, and demonstrate outstanding thermal insulation / fire resistant and good mechanical properties. Along with polymer/carbon composites and highly conducting porous carbon monoliths, one more very attractive object for investigation its electromagnetic properties is ultrathin carbonaceous film - pyrolytic carbon or a few layer graphene. We expect that they could absorb up to 50% of the incident micowave power despite the fact that their thickness is only a small fraction of the skin depth. The idea of the project is to provide comparative study of EM shielding effectiveness of carbon foams, carbon ultra-thin films and epoxy/carbon composites with low filler concentration in microwave frequency range and to support the experimental data with an adequate theoretical model of materials’ electromagnetics. On the basis of our theoretical simulations and experimental database collected within the project implementation, we intent to contribute into solution of one of the most challenging problem in material science: to develop EM coating through design-oriented-approach.
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