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Old Polymers Learn New Tricks

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AMES, Iowa, May 2, 2011 — New tricks to improve the properties of certain organic polymers that mimic the properties of traditional inorganic semiconductors are being investigated by Malika Jeffries-EL, an assistant professor of chemistry at Iowa State University. The new methods 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...Read full article

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