AbstractShort carbon ﬁbers (SCF) were modified with oxidation and coupling treatment to improve their water-wettability and bonding properties. Four types of dispersants were studied and discussed. Short carbon ﬁbers/plant fiber (PF) composite papers were prepared by papermaking techniques. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and tests to determine zeta potential, absorbance, tensile index, and conductivity were carried out to investigate the modified effect of SCF and the interfacial properties. Modification experimental results showed that the surface grooves were deepened and new superﬁcial grooves were generated by the liquid acid oxidation. The reaction with the silane coupling agent provided higher density and more uniform distribution on the SCF surface than that of organic titanate, and it obviously increased the roughness and the absolute value of zeta potential. After modification, the hydrophilic properties and dispersion in aqueous solutions were improved, the SCFs could form a good mechanical grip with plant fibers, and the conductivity and physical strength of SCF/PF composite papers were enhanced. It was shown that there was obvious adhesive binding at the ﬁber overlap nodes by the SEM analysis. It was conﬁrmed that the improvement of physical properties of composite paper can be ascribed to the interfacial enhancement.