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New way found to make plastic semiconductors

Cheap, flexible and sustainable plastic semiconductors will soon be a reality.

Scientists at the Waterloo have developed a way to make plastic semiconductors plastics that conduct electricity like metals. Through this demonstration, scientists could produce cheap, flexible and sustainable plastic semiconductors.

Scientists used a simple dehydration reaction the only byproduct of which is water. They then successfully applied this reaction to create poly(hetero)arenes, one of the most studied classes of conjugated polymers. Such polymers usually used to create lightweight, low- cost electronics such as solar cells, LED displays, and chemical and biochemical sensors.

Professor Derek Schipper, a professor of Chemistry and a Canada Research Chair in Organic Material Synthesis said, “Nature has been using this reaction for billions of years and industry more than a hundred. It’s one of the cheapest and most environmentally friendly reactions for producing plastics.”

Lack of hydration is a typical technique to make polymers, a chain of rehashing particles or monomers that connection up like a prepare. Nature utilizes the lack of hydration response to make complex sugars from glucose, and also proteins and other organic building pieces, for example, cellulose. Plastics producers utilize it to make everything from nylon to polyester, economically and at the top of the priority list boggling mass.

Schipper said, “Synthesis has been a long-standing problem in this field. A dehydration method such as ours will streamline the entire process from discovery of new derivatives to commercial product development. Better still, the reaction proceeds relatively fast and at room temperature.”

Schipper and his team are continuing to perfect the technique while also working on developing dehydration synthesis methods for other classes of conjugated polymers. The results of their research so far appeared recently in the journal Chemistry – A European Journal.

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