Compatibilized Polymer / Expanded Graphite Materials

Executive Summary

The addition of graphene nanoplatelets to polymers can simultaneously improve multiple physical properties when added to polymers. Unfortunately, graphene nanoplatelets do not interact well with some polymers, such as polyolefins, thus requiring excessive amounts to be added. MSU researchers have developed a new compatibilizer that improves the dispersion of graphene nanoplatelets in difficult to disperse polymer matrices. Better dispersion improves mechanical, barrier, thermal and electrical properties of the polymer at low concentrations of graphene nanoplatelets.


Description of the Technology

The invention relates to polymeric compositions containing a polymer-graphene compatibilizer and expanded graphite nanoplatelets dispersed in the polymer matrix. The compatibilizer works as a coupling agent and consists of an aromatic chemical moiety that is capable of pi bonding with the basal plane of graphene nanoplatelets and an organic moiety that is compatible with the polymer resin or matrix into which the graphene nanoplatelets are dispersed. The organic moiety can include one or more components that strongly interact with the polymer resin or matrix. A wide variety of polymers may benefit from this compatibilizer. Methods for forming a dispersion of the expanded graphite in the compatibilizer as well as forming composites are also described.



  • Excellent dispersion of expanded graphite in difficult polymers such as polyolefins
  • Polymer composites have excellent mechanical strength, barrier properties, thermal and electrical properties



  • Structural applications
  • Thermal and electrically conductive composites


Patent Status

Issued US Patent US 9,776,874


Licensing Rights

Full licensing rights available



Jiang, X. and Drzal, L. T.,2011, Fall ACS Meeting, PMSE Division Denver, CO., “Pi Coupling Agent for Better Dispersion of Exfoliated Graphene Nanoplatelets in Polymers”



Dr. Lawrence Drzal, Dr. Jian Xiang





Patent Information:

For Information, Contact:

Jon Debling
Technology Manager
Michigan State University