Carbonaceous mesophase with a nematic liquid crystal structure possesses an easily graphitizable characteristic and can be used as a promising raw material to prepare anisotropic carbon and graphite materials with high performance and multifunction. Therefore, the carbonaceous mesophase occupies a pivotal and irreplaceable position in many frontier and cutting-edge fields. The controllable preparation and characterization of carbonaceous mesophase derived from a model molecule (i.e., naphthalene) are presented, especially the formation, development, and transformation of anisotropic liquid crystalline mesophase in the synthetic naphthalene pitch during the process of liquid-phase carbonization (350–450°C). The increasing applications of naphthalene-based carbonaceous mesophase as an ideal precursor material for fabricating representative advanced carbon materials with high added value (e.g., mesophase pitch-derived coke, mesocarbon microbeads, mesophase pitch-based carbon foam, high-modulus mesophase pitch-based carbon fibers, and high-thermal-conductivity carbon-based composites, etc.) are reviewed in detail in this chapter.
Part of the book: Liquid Crystals and Display Technology
Nowadays, polyimide-derived graphite films with high thermal conductivity have been increasingly applied in many cutting-edge fields needing thermal management, such as highly integrated microelectronics and wireless communication technologies. This chapter first introduces a variety of functional graphite films with high thermal conductivity of 500–2000 W/m K in the planar direction, then provides the preparation technology (including lab-scale preparation and industrial production) and quality control strategy of high-thermal-conductivity graphite films, which are derived from a special polymer- polyimide (PI) by carbonization and graphitization treatments through a suitable molding press in a vacuum furnace. The morphology, microstructure and physical properties as well as the microstructural evolution and transformation mechanism of PI films during the whole process of high-temperature treatment are comprehensively introduced. The nature of PI precursor (e.g., the molecular structure and planar molecular orientation) and preparation technics (e.g., heat-treatment temperature and molding pressure) are critical factors influencing their final physical properties. Currently challenged by the emerging of graphene-based graphite films, the latest developments and future prospects of various PI-derived carbons and composites (beyond films) with high thermal conductivity have been summarized at the end. This chapter may shed light on a promising and versatile utilization of PI-derived functional carbon materials for advanced thermal management.
Part of the book: Polyimide