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 |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Material ")

Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme. - Frank Herbert, 1965.

Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'- J.G. Ballard, 1962.

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 thatís ninety-nine percent absorptive...' - Doc Smith, 1934.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Swarm Of Mindless Robots Works Together
'Very tiny pseudo insects that... can unite to form a superordinate system.'

SpotMini Robot Dog, Autonomous And On Sale In 2019
Great, an autonomous slamhound. It is cute, though.

RoboFly Is Laser-Powered, Adorable
Don't swat this fly!

MSG Sphere Las Vegas, ala Star Wars
'The smoky globe, hung in the vault, was shot with colored light...'

Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...

MIT Ampli Blocks Build Biomedical Devices
Damn it Spock, I'm a doctor not an engineer!

UberAIR Asks For Skytaxi Landing Prototypes
You know you want to ride in one.

Boring Tunnel Almost Ready
Your underground future is calling!

Handheld Human Skin Printer
It outputs a thin wad of uniflesh.

Healthy Fast Food Courtesy Of Robot Chefs
'The electric cook was stirring empty nothing in a pan, with a zeal worthy a dozen eggs.'

Mass Production Of In Vitro Meat From One Sample
They're Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing

Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Thank goodness for Star Trek.

Retinal Prosthesis Uses Organic Printing Inks
We can rebuild you - well, your eyes, maybe.

Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Consumer DNA services are often inaccurate.

Squid-Like Robots Soon To Be 3D Printable
'It was a chemotactic artificial jellyfish designed to slither...'

Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities
Sounds like '60s sci-fi to me.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.