A new organic plastic material allows electronics to function at extreme temperatures without sacrificing performance
From iPhones on Earth to rovers on Mars, most electronics only function within a certain temperature range. By blending two organic materials together, researchers at Purdue University could create electronics that withstand extreme heat.
This new plastic material could reliably conduct electricity in up to 220 degrees Celsius (428 F), according to a paper published Thursday in the journal Science.
"Commercial electronics operate between minus 40 and 85 degrees Celsius. Beyond this range, they're going to malfunction," said Jianguo Mei, a professor of organic chemistry at Purdue University
. "We created a material that can operate at high temperatures by blending two polymers together."
One of these is a semiconductor, which can conduct electricity, and the other is a conventional insulating polymer, which is what you might picture when you think of regular plastic.
To make this technology work for electronics, the researchers couldn't just meld the two together - they had to tinker with ratios.
"One of the plastics transports the charge, and the other can withstand high temperatures," said Aristide Gumyusenge, lead author of the paper and graduate researcher at Purdue. "When you blend them together, you have to find the right ratio so that they merge nicely and one doesn't dominate the other."
The researchers discovered a few properties that are essential to make this work. The two materials need to be compatible to mixing and should each be present in roughly the same ratio. This results in an organized, interpenetrating network that allows the electrical charge to flow evenly throughout while holding its shape in extreme temperatures.
Most impressive about this new material isn't its ability to conduct electricity in extreme temperatures, but that its performance doesn't seem to change. Usually, the performance of electronics depends on temperature - think about how fast your laptop would work in your climate-controlled office versus the Arizona desert. The performance of these new polymer blend remains stable across a wide temperature range.
Extreme-temperature electronics might be useful for scientists in Antarctica or travelers wandering the Sahara, but they're also critical to the functioning of cars and planes everywhere.
In a moving vehicle, the exhaust is so hot that sensors can't be too close and fuel consumption must be monitored remotely. If sensors could be directly attached to the exhaust, operators would get a more accurate reading. This is especially important for aircraft, which have hundreds of thousands of sensors.
"A lot of applications are limited by the fact that these plastics will break down at high temperatures, and this could be a way to change that," said Brett Savoie, a professor of chemical engineering at Purdue.
"Solar cells, transistors and sensors all need to tolerate large temperature changes in many applications, so dealing with stability issues at high temperatures is really critical for polymer-based electronics."
The researchers will conduct further experiments to figure out what the true temperature limits are (high and low) for their new material. Making organic electronics work in the freezing cold is even more difficult than making them work in extreme heat, Mei said.
Kayla Zacharias | EurekAlert!
Large-scale window material developed for PM2.5 capture and light tuning
18.02.2019 | University of Science and Technology of China
Engineered metasurfaces reflect waves in unusual directions
18.02.2019 | Aalto University
Up to now, OLEDs have been used exclusively as a novel lighting technology for use in luminaires and lamps. However, flexible organic technology can offer much more: as an active lighting surface, it can be combined with a wide variety of materials, not just to modify but to revolutionize the functionality and design of countless existing products. To exemplify this, the Fraunhofer FEP together with the company EMDE development of light GmbH will be presenting hybrid flexible OLEDs integrated into textile designs within the EU-funded project PI-SCALE for the first time at LOPEC (March 19-21, 2019 in Munich, Germany) as examples of some of the many possible applications.
The Fraunhofer FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, has long been involved in the development of...
For the first time, an international team of scientists based in Regensburg, Germany, has recorded the orbitals of single molecules in different charge states in a novel type of microscopy. The research findings are published under the title “Mapping orbital changes upon electron transfer with tunneling microscopy on insulators” in the prestigious journal “Nature”.
The building blocks of matter surrounding us are atoms and molecules. The properties of that matter, however, are often not set by these building blocks...
Scientists at the University of Konstanz identify fierce competition between the human immune system and bacterial pathogens
Cell biologists from the University of Konstanz shed light on a recent evolutionary process in the human immune system and publish their findings in the...
Laser physicists have taken snapshots of carbon molecules C₆₀ showing how they transform in intense infrared light
When carbon molecules C₆₀ are exposed to an intense infrared light, they change their ball-like structure to a more elongated version. This has now been...
The so-called Abelian sandpile model has been studied by scientists for more than 30 years to better understand a physical phenomenon called self-organized...
11.02.2019 | Event News
30.01.2019 | Event News
16.01.2019 | Event News
20.02.2019 | Life Sciences
20.02.2019 | Medical Engineering
20.02.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering