Robust microcapsules are prepared with carbon black suspensions high in solids loading (up to 0.2 g/mL) for electrical conductivity restoration. Oxidized carbon black is rendered more hydrophobic through surface functionalization with octadecylamine by two different methods. Functionalization significantly improves dispersability and suspension stability of carbon black in hydrophobic solvents such as o-dichlorobenzene (o-DCB), enabling encapsulation by in situ emulsion polymerization. Upon crushing, microcapsules containing functionalized carbon black (FCB) suspensions exhibit significant particle release relative to microcapsules filled with unfunctionalized carbon black. Release of carbon black is further enhanced by the addition of two types of core thickeners, epoxy resin or poly 3-hexylthiophene (P3HT). Full conductivity restoration (100% restoration efficiency) of damaged silicon anodes is achieved by crushing microcapsules containing FCB suspensions with P3HT. Hydrophobic surface functionalization of carbon black and the addition of core thickeners are both critical for achieving stable microcapsules capable of significant particle release and efficient conductivity restoration. Robust microcapsules of carbon black suspensions high in solids loading (up to 0.2 g/mL) are prepared for electrical conductivity restoration. Octadecyl chains are covalently attached to carbon black surfaces to improve dispersability and suspension stability in o-dichlorobenzene. The microcapsules exhibit significant particle release upon crushing, resulting in full conductivity restoration of damaged silicon anodes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2947-2956
Number of pages10
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 28 2014


  • battery electrodes
  • carbon black
  • conductivity restoration
  • microcapsules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Electrochemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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