Authors: Vazquez-Sanchez, P; Rodriguez-Escudero, MA; Burgos, FJ; Llorente, I; Caballero-Calero, O; Gonzalez, MM; Fernandez, R; Garcia-Alonso, MC

J. Alloy. Compd.. vol: 800. page: 0925-8388.
Date: sep-05. 2019.
Doi: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2019.06.008.

In this work, synthesis of copper/reduced graphene oxide composites to increase the electrical conductivity of copper matrix has been carried out. Pure copper particles were mixed with 0.28 wt%, 1.1 wt% and 2.5 wt% graphene oxide (GO) contents. Different reduction methods were chosen to synthetize the Cu/rGO composite material: chemical reduction with hydrazine, thermal treatment at 815 degrees C in argon atmosphere. Characterization of the Cu/rGO composite disks was carried out by optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy. Vickers Hardness and the electrical conductivity measured by Van der Pauw method of the Cu/rGO composites were analyzed. All the Cu/rGO disks showed lower hardness values than the Cu matrix. Microstructure of Cu/rGO composites is dominated by the presence of pores where GO agglomerates are accumulated and whose distribution and magnitude depends on the weight percentage of GO and the reduction process. Porosity percentage and pore size of Cu/rGO disks increase with GO content. Combination of chemical reduction with thermal treatment provides the most homogeneous microstructures with the smallest pore size and porosity percentage. Combination of both reduction treatments promotes more pathways for carrier transport within the reduced graphene oxide network structure, expanding areas of long-range conjugated structures and, consequently, increasing the electrical conductivity in the rGO/copper composites. Our research evidences that the Cu/rGO composites after chemical and thermal reduction increases the electrical conductivity, independently on the GO content, with respect to the pure copper matrix. (C) 2019 Published by Elsevier B.V..