Robust Nanostructures for EMI Shielding

September 1, 2020
Image: Yudhajit Bhattacharjee

Electro-magnetic interference (EMI) is a persistent issue that plagues modern electronics as it is the main source of noise, disrupting circuits. The efficiency and robustness of existing EMI shielding materials are quite low, which makes them ill-suited for high-end electronics. To overcome this, researchers in the Department of Materials Engineering designed a novel nanostructure involving a polymer and a blend of nanocomposites.

They incorporated a conducting carbon nanosphere (CNS) as the core and iron oxide (Fe3O4) and silica (SiO2) as shell materials to develop a core-dual-shell nanostructure. Multiple nanocomposites were integrated in a polymer matrix of polyvinylidene fluoride, resulting in EMI shields with highly effective architectures.

The team designed and compared many core-shell configurations and found that CNS@SiO2@Fe3O4 showed maximum attenuation of incoming electromagnetic radiation – a remarkable 99%. These nanostructures were also effective in blocking UV radiation up to 99.9%. The material is also durable at high temperature and under mechanical stress, making it suitable for flexible electronics.