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Graphene's outstanding mechanical and electrical properties make it a very attractive material for applications in aerospace and flexible electronics. This, however, requires the assembly of graphene into macroscopic graphene nanocomposites.

High-performance graphene films have many promising applications as lightweight structural materials for a variety of uses,
fromin aircraft and automobile bodies to windmill blades and sports equipment; as flexible conductive materials for increasingly popular portable and wearable electronics; and as electromagnetic (EM) interference shielding materials for eliminating the EM pollution of diverse electronic devices.

Introducing graphene sheets into a polymer matrix through solution mixing, melt mixing, and in situ polymerization are common processes used to make graphene nanocomposites. However, these methods usually result in nanocomposite films with poor mechanical and electrical properties due to the low content of graphene, poor dispersion, and weak interfaces between graphene and polymer matrix. These disadvantages severely limit these nanocomposites’ practical applications.

Researchers in China have reported a novel strategy to 'stitch' reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanosheets into ultra-strong, super tough, and highly conductive graphene films using only small amounts of cross-linker. They show that the bridging of long-chain π-π bonding agent between neighboring rGO nanosheets can
providesubstantial improvement in multiple properties including tensile strength, toughness, electrical conductivity, EMI shielding capability, and resistance to mechanical damage.

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Category: Science