Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Iowa State chemist designs new polymer structures for use as ‘plastic electronics’

Malika Jeffries-EL and her Iowa State University research group are studying polymers that can conduct electricity. Photo by Bob Elbert.
Malika Jeffries-EL and her Iowa State University research group are studying polymers that can conduct electricity. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Abstract:
Iowa State University's Malika Jeffries-EL says she's studying doing structure-property studies so she can teach old polymers new tricks.

Iowa State chemist designs new polymer structures for use as ‘plastic electronics’

Ames, IA | Posted on May 2nd, 2011

Those tricks improve the properties of certain organic polymers that mimic the properties of traditional inorganic semiconductors and could make the polymers very useful in organic solar cells, light-emitting diodes and thin-film transistors.

Conductive polymers date back to the late 1970s when researchers Alan Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa discovered that plastics, with certain arrangements of atoms, can conduct electricity. The three were awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery.

Jeffries-EL, an Iowa State assistant professor of chemistry, is working with a post-doctoral researcher and nine doctoral students to move the field forward by studying the relationship between polymer structures and the electronic, physical and optical properties of the materials. They're also looking for ways to synthesize the polymers without the use of harsh acids and temperatures by making them soluble in organic solvents.

The building blocks of their work are a variety of benzobisazoles, molecules well suited for electrical applications because they efficiently transport electrons, are stable at high temperatures and can absorb photons.

And if the polymers are lacking in any of those properties, Jeffries-EL and her research group can do some chemical restructuring.

"With these polymers, if you don't have the properties you need, you can go back and change the wheel," Jeffries-EL said. "You can change the chemical synthesis and produce what's missing."
That, she said, doesn't work with silicon and other inorganic materials for semiconductors: "Silicon is silicon. Elements are constant."

The National Science Foundation is supporting Jeffries-EL's polymer research with a five-year, $486,250 Faculty Early Career Development grant. She also has support from the Iowa Power Fund (a state program that supports energy innovation and independence) to apply organic semiconductor technology to solar cells.

The research group is seeing some results, including peer-reviewed papers over the past two years in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Macromolecules, the Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry, and the Journal of Organic Chemistry.

"This research is really about fundamental science," Jeffries-EL said. "We're studying the relationships between structure and material properties. Once we have a polymer with a certain set of properties, what can we do?"

She and her research group are turning to the molecules for answers.

"In order to realize the full potential of these materials, they must be engineered at the molecular level, allowing for optimization of materials properties, leading to enhanced performance in a variety of applications," Jeffries-EL wrote in a research summary. "As an organic chemist, my approach to materials begins with small molecules."

####

About Iowa State University
Iowa State is an international, prestigious university with a friendly welcoming personality. More than 28,000 students choose from 100 majors, study with world-class scholars and hone their leadership skills in more than 800 student organizations. Iowa State offers a great environment where students can enjoy reaching their potential and discovering their passions. It's a culturally diverse student body with students from all 50 states and more than 110 countries.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Malika Jeffries-EL
Chemistry
515-294-5759


Mike Krapfl
News Service
515-294-4917

Copyright © Iowa State University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Ultracold atom waves may shed light on rogue ocean killers: Rice quantum experiments probe underlying physics of rogue ocean waves April 27th, 2017

Looking for the quantum frontier: Beyond classical computing without fault-tolerance? April 27th, 2017

Metal nanoparticles induced visible-light photocatalysis: Mechanisms, applications, ways of promoting catalytic activity and outlook April 27th, 2017

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Webcast Fiscal 2017 Second Quarter Results April 27th, 2017

Affordable STM32 Cloud-Connectable Kit from STMicroelectronics Puts More Features On-Board for Fast and Flexible IoT-Device Development April 26th, 2017

Chemistry

Metal nanoparticles induced visible-light photocatalysis: Mechanisms, applications, ways of promoting catalytic activity and outlook April 27th, 2017

Chip Technology

Geoffrey Beach: Drawn to explore magnetism: Materials researcher is working on the magnetic memory of the future April 25th, 2017

'Neuron-reading' nanowires could accelerate development of drugs for neurological diseases April 12th, 2017

Nanometrics to Announce First Quarter Financial Results on May 2, 2017 April 11th, 2017

AIM Photonics Presents Cutting-Edge Integrated Photonics Technology Developments to Packed House at OFC 2017, the Optical Networking and Communication Conference & Exhibition April 11th, 2017

Discoveries

Ultracold atom waves may shed light on rogue ocean killers: Rice quantum experiments probe underlying physics of rogue ocean waves April 27th, 2017

Looking for the quantum frontier: Beyond classical computing without fault-tolerance? April 27th, 2017

Metal nanoparticles induced visible-light photocatalysis: Mechanisms, applications, ways of promoting catalytic activity and outlook April 27th, 2017

Geoffrey Beach: Drawn to explore magnetism: Materials researcher is working on the magnetic memory of the future April 25th, 2017

Announcements

Ultracold atom waves may shed light on rogue ocean killers: Rice quantum experiments probe underlying physics of rogue ocean waves April 27th, 2017

Looking for the quantum frontier: Beyond classical computing without fault-tolerance? April 27th, 2017

Metal nanoparticles induced visible-light photocatalysis: Mechanisms, applications, ways of promoting catalytic activity and outlook April 27th, 2017

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Webcast Fiscal 2017 Second Quarter Results April 27th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project