Chemistry Novels Look to the Future
2000/11/01 Fernandez, Toribio Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria
Rumors of several years have been confirmed this year and parents of conductive polymers have received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Professor Shirakawa visited the MacDiarmid laboratory and, in collaboration with Heeger, put the polyacetylene synthesized by the Japanese in the presence of iodine. They observed that the polymer oxidized and that conductivity increased by 10 orders, equating the metallic. These works published in 1979 were the beginning of conductive polymers. In the following years, the synthesis of conductive polymers was achieved through the passage of electric current through a solution of monomer and salt, among others, thanks to IBM researcher Arturo Díaz. Moreover, it was proven that the oxidation process was controllable by electrochemistry and reversible.
The conductive polymers meet all the necessary characteristics in microelectronics, as well as being flexible, soluble and processable through economic processes. In addition, they are biocompatible, act as biosensors or actuators and interact with electromagnetic and ion radiation. Being intelligent materials very close to biological materials, they have opened the way for the development of molecular electronics. In short, conductive polymers will revolutionize the XXI. In 20th century microelectronics: three award-winning people have made possible a future full of scientific and technological opportunities that can revolutionize society.