Optimizing Graphene-Metal Composites Manufacturing Through Laser Photothermal Processing Modeling and Computation

D. Espinoza, D. Coren, D. Colmanarez, P. Kang, M.A. Khan
George Mason University,
United States

Keywords: covetics, laser infused graphene, LIG, composite materials, graphene, simulation


Composite materials are engineered materials made from two or more different composite structures which change physical or chemical properties. Covetics are a type of composite material where graphene is integrated into a metal; these materials show improvement in mechanical strength, electrical and thermal conductivity and increase in material durability. Currently, the formation of covetics has been made using an electric arc method, which gives a non-homogenous graphene distribution, making it more difficult to optimize. Laser-Induced Graphene (LIG) presents a promising alternative. This process employs a laser and a polyimide (PI) film to create porous graphene, infusing it into a metal substrate, resulting in covetic material. Unlike traditional methods, LIG allows for a more controlled and homogenous structure. However, the optimal laser parameters, such as power, wavelength, speed, frequency, and fluence, remain unknown, impacting the quality and efficiency of porous graphene formation in covetics. This research addresses the gaps in understanding the laser parameters' influence on LIG by developing a photothermal processing modeling of the process. The simulation focuses on correlating laser parameters to the heat distribution during the LIG process. By simulating the thermal changes of the material, the project aims to streamline the determination of optimal laser parameters, bypassing the need for repetitive physical experiments. This computational approach offers a more efficient and cost-effective means of exploring the intricate relationship between parameters and covetic material quality.