Odd–even effect on the thermal conductivity of liquid crystalline epoxy resins

Guangxin Lv, Chengtian Shen, Naisong Shan, Elynn Jensen, Xiaoru Li, Christopher M. Evans, David G. Cahill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rapid developments in high-performance computing and high-power electronics are driving needs for highly thermal conductive polymers and their composites for encapsulants and interface materials. However, polymers typically have low thermal conductivities of ∼0.2 W/(m K). We studied the thermal conductivity of a series of epoxy resins cured by one diamine hardener and seven diepoxide monomers with different precise ethylene linker lengths (x = 2–8). We found pronounced odd–even effects of the ethylene linker length on the liquid crystalline order, mass density, and thermal conductivity. Epoxy resins with even x have liquid crystalline structure with the highest density of 1.44 g/cm3 and highest thermal conductivity of 1.0 W/(m K). Epoxy resins with odd x are amorphous with the lowest density of 1.10 g/cm3 and lowest thermal conductivity of 0.17 W/(m K). These findings indicate that controlling precise linker length in dense networks is a powerful route to molecular design of thermally conductive polymers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2211151119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Issue number46
StatePublished - Nov 15 2022


  • thermal conductivity
  • liquid crystal
  • odd–even effect
  • epoxy resin
  • polymer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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