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 -
Self-Healing Circuits From Carnegie Mellon
'It even had an inter-skin layer of gum that could seal the punctures...'- Raymond Z. Gallun, 1951.
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.
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.
PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."
Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'
DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'
Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.
ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.
When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'
Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'
'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'
Quiet Electric Cars Law Finalized By US Transportation Department
'... a sound tape to supply the noise'
Drone Assassin Fails To Kill Venezuelan President
'The spotter descends, and we think it searches the vicinity, looking for the victim's face...'
Stick-On Tape Speakers, As Predicted By Bruce Sterling
Flexible tape speakers, someday.
Bezos Invites You To New Life In Off-World Colonies
'A new life awaits you!'
Amazon's Rekognition System Sees Criminals In Congress
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'
Build Your Own Space Suit For Cheap
'I'm going to pump the air from this room... so that the interior will be like airless and pressure-less space.'
CIMON Space Sidekick For Weary Astronauts
I welcome our floating robotic assistants.
SRI MicroFactory Of Microrobots Recalls Dick's Autofac
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants... constructing something...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories