Polymers (Basel). 2022 Oct 24;14(21):4501. doi: 10.3390/polym14214501.
Constructing hierarchical structures is indispensable to tuning the electromagnetic properties of carbon-based materials. Here, carbon microtubes with nanometer wall thickness and micrometer diameter were fabricated by a feasible approach with economical and sustainable kapok fiber. The carbonized kapok fiber (CKF) exhibits microscale pores from the inherent porous templates as well as pyrolysis-induced nanopores inside the wall, affording the hierarchical carbon microtube with excellent microwave absorbing performance over broad frequency. Particularly, CKF-650 exhibits an optimized reflection loss (RL) of -62.46 dB (10.32 GHz, 2.2 mm), while CKF-600 demonstrates an effective absorption bandwidth (RL < -10 dB) of 6.80 GHz (11.20-18.00 GHz, 2.8 mm). Moreover, more than 90% of the incident electromagnetic wave ranging from 2.88 GHz to 18.00 GHz can be dissipated by simply controlling the carbonization temperature of KF and/or the thickness of the carbon-microtube-based absorber. These encouraging findings provide a facile alternative route to fabricate microwave absorbers with broadband attenuation capacity by utilizing sustainable biomass.