Black Gold - Conducting Polymers

 @Conducting polymers had a rather inauspicious start in electrochemistry: They were first called  "The Black Crap that Fouled My Electrode"  by researchers attempting to study the electrochemistry of aniline compounds. In 2000, conducting polymers (such as the polyaniline the early electrochemists produced) earned three scientists some  gold  - a Nobel Prize in Chemistry!

To Electrochemistry and Beyond! To Electrochemistry and Beyond!

It is enlightening to see the bio-s of  this winning trio: One is a chemist (MacDiarmid, U of Penn), one is a physicist (Heeger, UCSB), and one is a materials scientist (Shirakawa, U of Tsukuba, Japan). The study of conducting polymers cuts across traditional discipline boundaries.

Conducting polymers hold the promise of plastic wires, all-plastic light-weight batteries (check your cell phone!!),  cheap and colorful light emitting diodes, and large, bright displays for signs or TV screens.

If you want to find out more about conducting polymers, you might want to start with Nobel Prize winner MacDiarmid's Scientific American article (RB Kaner & AG MacDiarmid, "Plastics That Conduct Electricity," Scientific American 1988, February, 106 ). 


Scientific American  12 issues
12 Issues

To Electrochemistry and Beyond!To Electrochemistry and Beyond!

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