Iranian researcher Vina Faramarzi jointly with other scientists from CNRS and the University of Strasbourg succeeded in making highly conductive plastic fibers that are only several nanometers thick. The nanowires, are "self-assemble" when triggered by a flash of light.
Inexpensive and easy to handle, unlike carbon nanotubes, they combine the advantages of the two materials currently used to conduct electric current metals and plastic organic polymers. In fact, their remarkable electrical properties are similar to those of metals.
In addition, they are light and flexible like plastics , which opens up the possibility of meeting one of the most important challenges of 21st century electronics.
The next step is to demonstrate that these fibers can be industrially integrated within electronic devices such as flexible screens, solar cells, etc.
In previous work published in 2010 the researchers succeeded for the first time in obtaining nanowires. To achieve this feat, they chemically modified "triarylamines", synthetic molecules that have been used for decades by industry in Xerox photocopying processes.
Much to their surprise, the researchers observed that in light and in solution, their new molecules stacked up spontaneously in a regular manner to form miniature fibers. These wires, a few hundred nanometers long, are made up of what is known as the "supramolecular" assembly of several thousand molecules.
Real atomic force microscopy image showing a conductive supramolecular fiber composed of several short fibers. Each grain corresponds to a molecule.
Their first important finding was that, when triggered by a flash of light, the fibers self-assemble solely between the electrodes.
... Payvand News - 04/30/12 ... --