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 new paradigm of material identification based on graph theory
17.06.2019 | Science China Press

nachricht Electron beam strengthens recyclable nanocomposite
17.06.2019 | Kanazawa University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

Im Focus: Tube anemone has the largest animal mitochondrial genome ever sequenced

Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.

The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....

Im Focus: Tiny light box opens new doors into the nanoworld

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.

Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Uncovering hidden protein structures

18.06.2019 | Life Sciences

Monitoring biodiversity with sound: how machines can enrich our knowledge

18.06.2019 | Life Sciences

Schizophrenia: Adolescence is the game-changer

18.06.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>