1North Carolina A&T State University 2North Carolina A&T State University 3North Carolina A&T State University 4North Carolina A&T State University
Low thermal conductivity carbon fbers from polyacrylonitrile (PAN) are currently being explored as an alternative for tradi�tional rayon-based carbon fbers with a thermal conductivity of 4 W/m K. Compared to multiple component electrospinning, this research demonstrated another feasible way to make low thermal conductivity carbon fbrous material by electrospinning PAN followed by carbonization and alkali activation. The efects of activation condition on microstructure, pore formation, and thermal conductivity of the resultant carbon nanofbrous material were investigated. The processing-structure-thermal conductivity relationship was revealed and mechanism of thermal conductivity reduction was discussed. The overall thermal conductivity of the prepared carbon nanofbrous material is a result of combined efects from factors of carbon structure and number of pores rather than volume of pores or specifc surface area. The activated carbon nanofbrous materials showed thermal conductivity as low as 0.12 W/m K, which is a reduction of~99% when compared to that of solid carbon flm and a reduction of~95% when compared to that of carbon nanofbrous material before activation.