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Title: Synthesis of nanostructured/macroscopic low-density copper foams based on metal-coated polymer core–shell particles [Templated synthesis of nanowalled low-density copper foams]

A robust, millimeter-sized low-density Cu foam with ~90% (v/v) porosity, ~30 nm thick walls, and ~1 μm diameter spherical pores is prepared by the slip-casting of metal-coated polymer core–shell particles followed by a thermal removal of the polymer. In this paper, we report our key findings that enable the development of the low-density Cu foams. First, we need to synthesize polystyrene (PS) particles coated with a very thin Cu layer (in the range of tens of nanometers). A simple reduction in the amount of Cu deposited onto the PS was not sufficient to form such a low-density Cu foams due to issues related to foam collapse and densification upon the subsequent polymer removal step. Precise control over the morphology of the Cu coating on the particles is essential for the synthesis of a lower density of foams. Second, improving the dispersion of PS–Cu particles in a suspension used for the casting as well as careful optimization of a baking condition minimize the formation of irregular large voids, leading to Cu foams with a more uniform packing and a better connectivity of neighboring Cu hollow shells. Finally, we analyzed mechanical properties of the Cu foams with a depth-sensing indentation test. Themore » uniform Cu foams show a significant improvement in mechanical properties (~1.5× modulus and ~3× hardness) compared to those of uncontrolled foam samples with a similar foam density but irregular large voids. As a result, higher surface areas and a good electric conductivity of the Cu foams present a great potential to future applications.« less
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  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  2. Atomic Weapons Establishment, Reading (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1944-8244; TRN: US1701175
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 50; Journal ID: ISSN 1944-8244
American Chemical Society
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; copper; core−shell particles; electroless deposition; metal foam; porous materials
OSTI Identifier: