Metal-like Polymer Developed In South Korea
A new type of plastic-based polyaniline, a polymer that has the same characteristics as metal, was unveiled by a team of South Korean scientists. The polyaniline they made can conduct electricity at ultra-cold temperatures, and duplicates traits heretofore found only in pure metallic materials.
The new plastic-based polyaniline is flexible; it can be made pliable, it can mix with other polymers and can be made into any flexible shape required.
However, polyaniline and other conducting polymers do not normally behave as real metals because they are too structurally disordered. Free electrons are therefore "scattered" within the material by the disorder. In metals, in contrast, the electrons are mainly scattered by thermal vibrations of atoms. Since the atoms vibrate less as the metal is cooled, it conducts better at low temperatures
The new polyaniline films show both the optical and electrical properties characteristic of metals. The team made the material by doping it with sulphonic acid and synthesizing it within oily droplets suspended in water. This new technique produced films that are more structurally ordered than polyaniline made using conventional methods.
(From Plastics go metallic)
It is expected that the new material could be used making flexible RFID tags to be embedded in cloth or other flexible consumer goods, in the manufacturing of flexible displays and TVs and to make devices that block out harmful electromagnetic waves.
This really reminds me of a material from science fiction writers Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's classic 1974 novel The Mote in God's Eye. When human beings first encounter a native of the Mote civilization, they see it rewiring a circuit board by hand with an unusual sort of 'goop':
"Now the alien's making something. I don't understand what's keeping it... It's got the cover off the control panel. It's rewiring things. A moment ago it was squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon along the printed circuitry. I'm only telling you what it looks like, of course..."
(Read more about metal paste)
The Motie engineers loved materials that could do more than one thing; for example, they came up with a superconductor of heat that would be handy (if it existed!) If you like stories about remarkable new materials that human engineers have actually created, a nanofabric just one atom in thickness might interest you.If you like stories about remarkable new materials, a nanofabric just one atom in thickness might interest you. Read more about the new polyaniline polymers here and here.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/9/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
3D Printed Graphene Aerogel - So Light!
'... light as cork and stronger than steel...' - Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1929.
Vantablack Now IMMEASURABLY Black
'a black coating now that’s ninety-nine percent absorptive...' - Doc Smith, 1934.
New Paper - Write With Light Erase With Heat
Writing with light, erasing with heat.
Reconfigured Graphene 10X Strong, 5 Percent Dense, As Steel
'...It was made of Alohydrolium, which is the lightest of all metals.' - Hugo Gernsback, 1911.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need one.'
Subsurface Martian Ice Slabs Piece Of Cake For Miners
'One shy little fellow with bloodshot eyes of old-time drillman stood up. 'I'm an ice miner,' he said.'
LG Rollable Version Of Niven's Poster TV
'A television that unrolled like a poster.'
Multi-Robot Farming On Highly Sloped Land
High Plains, indeed.
Aeolus Robot Brings Jetson's Rosie Closer
Domestic duties, robotically performed.
Sony's New, Cuter Aibo Robot Puppy
Engineered to be adorable.
Earth-1 Transformer Gundam Car
Is it a Gundam? Or maybe a Transformer.
Self-Driving Domino's Pizza Car
Yes, but can it negotiate entry at your Burbclave?
I Want Massive Space Freighters!
Ah, the space freighters of old.
When Will The Feds Ban Human Drivers?
'The first laws came out forcing the old machines off the highways...'
Our World Formed In A Bubble?
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...'
Will You Live To See EM Pulse Scattering By Ships Nearing Light Speed?
'...half a million kilometers away, the Stardrive went on.'
Jabil Integrated Textile Heart Monitoring
'Della's first present was an imipolex sweatshirt called a heartshirt…'
Made In Space To Manufacture Optical Fiber In Orbit
'Mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'
Dune Fans! Power Your Devices With Sweaty Shirts
Yet another power source from humans.
Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories