Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Viennese scientists develop promising new type of polymers

15.01.2019

S-PPV polymers are suitable for use in a wide range of applications, from solar cells through to medicine but, until recently, they were almost impossible to produce. Now, a new synthetic method has been patented.

Organic polymers can nowadays be found in solar cells, sensors, LEDs and in many other technical applications. One specific type of polymers - known as S-PPVs - were previously regarded as promising in theory but were almost impossible to produce from a technical perspective.


Bright colors: SPPV polymers have many imporant technological applications.

Credit: TU Wien


A red version -- another kind of SPPV-polymer.

Credit: TU Wien

After many years of work, a team from TU Wien has now managed to identify a new chemical synthesis process for the production of S-PPVs. This production process has now been patented.

Sulphur instead of oxygen

"PPVs are polymers that have superb technological properties", says Florian Glöcklhofer from the Institute of Applied Synthetic Chemistry at TU Wien. "They conduct electrical current and interact with light in such a way that they are of great interest for use in solar cells or LEDs".

They have a long, solid hydrocarbon structure to which certain side groups are attached. By choosing different side groups, it is possible to set the electronic properties of the material.

Until now, O-PPVs have been used for this; these are PPVs whose side groups are linked to the rest of the polymer via an oxygen atom. "If it is possible to replace oxygen side groups with sulphur side groups, this creates a new polymer, an S-PPV, which has significantly improved properties", says Florian Glöcklhofer. "We knew that this could lead to improvements in the transport of electrical current and that this would significantly improve overall stability of the polymer."

Experienced colleagues sought to dissuade Glöcklhofer from attempting to produce these S-PPVs. "It was believed to be too difficult", explains Glöcklhofer. Nevertheless, he decided to push ahead with the project and it soon became apparent that this would be indeed a complicated challenge.

"It was important for us to develop a synthesising method that was both simple and low-cost, with as few synthesis steps as possible, and without the need for expensive special catalysts", stresses Florian Glöcklhofer. "Ultimately, we want to produce materials that can be used in industrial applications. And S-PPV can only be commercially successful if the production costs do not exceed a certain level."

After four years of hard work, and numerous bitter setbacks, the team finally succeeded in discovering a reliable, straightforward method for producing S-PPVs. Suitable monomers are manufactured with the help of microwave radiation. These are polymerised and the side groups can then be further modified. "It works amazingly well", says Glöcklhofer.

"The reaction takes place within seconds. The colour changes during the process, so you can see it as it happens."

Patented technology

The new synthesis method has now been patented with the help of TU Wien's Research and Transfer Support. Florian Glöcklhofer is extremely confident about the commercial success of the discovery: "It is a simple synthetic method for a new, highly promising group of polymers.

The synthesis uses inexpensive base materials and does not require any palladium catalysts or similar expensive interim steps. The method can be scaled up for industrial quantities, is easily reproducible and delivers a product that not only boasts improved electronic properties, but also improved stability", says Glöcklhofer. Additionally, S-PPVs are also relatively non-toxic and biocompatible, making them excellent candidates for use in medical applications.

###

The team from TU Wien worked on the project together with a research group from Imperial College London, where Glöcklhofer recently took up a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship funded by the European Commission.

Original publication:

Rimmele et al., Thioalkyl- and Sulfone-Substituted Poly(p-Phenylene Vinylene)s, Polymer Chemistry

Contact:

Florian Glöcklhofer
TU Wien / Imperial College London
T: +44 20 7594 1389
florian.gloecklhofer@tuwien.ac.at

Media Contact

Florian Aigner
florian.aigner@tuwien.ac.at
0043-155-801-41027

 @tuvienna

http://www.tuwien.ac.at/tu_vienna/ 

Florian Aigner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
https://www.tuwien.ac.at/en/news/news_detail/article/126465/
http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C8PY01717D

Further reports about: LEDs Organic polymers PPVs Sensors catalysts electronic properties solar cells

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht A robot and software make it easier to create advanced materials
06.12.2019 | Rutgers University

nachricht First field measurements of laughing gas isotopes
05.12.2019 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Developing a digital twin

University of Texas and MIT researchers create virtual UAVs that can predict vehicle health, enable autonomous decision-making

In the not too distant future, we can expect to see our skies filled with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) delivering packages, maybe even people, from location...

Im Focus: The coldest reaction

With ultracold chemistry, researchers get a first look at exactly what happens during a chemical reaction

The coldest chemical reaction in the known universe took place in what appears to be a chaotic mess of lasers. The appearance deceives: Deep within that...

Im Focus: How do scars form? Fascia function as a repository of mobile scar tissue

Abnormal scarring is a serious threat resulting in non-healing chronic wounds or fibrosis. Scars form when fibroblasts, a type of cell of connective tissue, reach wounded skin and deposit plugs of extracellular matrix. Until today, the question about the exact anatomical origin of these fibroblasts has not been answered. In order to find potential ways of influencing the scarring process, the team of Dr. Yuval Rinkevich, Group Leader for Regenerative Biology at the Institute of Lung Biology and Disease at Helmholtz Zentrum München, aimed to finally find an answer. As it was already known that all scars derive from a fibroblast lineage expressing the Engrailed-1 gene - a lineage not only present in skin, but also in fascia - the researchers intentionally tried to understand whether or not fascia might be the origin of fibroblasts.

Fibroblasts kit - ready to heal wounds

Im Focus: McMaster researcher warns plastic pollution in Great Lakes growing concern to ecosystem

Research from a leading international expert on the health of the Great Lakes suggests that the growing intensity and scale of pollution from plastics poses serious risks to human health and will continue to have profound consequences on the ecosystem.

In an article published this month in the Journal of Waste Resources and Recycling, Gail Krantzberg, a professor in the Booth School of Engineering Practice...

Im Focus: Machine learning microscope adapts lighting to improve diagnosis

Prototype microscope teaches itself the best illumination settings for diagnosing malaria

Engineers at Duke University have developed a microscope that adapts its lighting angles, colors and patterns while teaching itself the optimal...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

The Future of Work

03.12.2019 | Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Lung images of twins with asthma add to understanding of the disease

06.12.2019 | Health and Medicine

A robot and software make it easier to create advanced materials

06.12.2019 | Materials Sciences

Scientist identify new marker for insecticide resistance in malaria mosquitoes

06.12.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>