Polyaniline

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  • Polyaniline (PANI) is a conducting polymer of the semi-flexible rod polymer family. Polyaniline is among a family of conductive polymers, and has properties similar to some metals. Amongst the family of conducting polymers and organic semiconductors, polyaniline is unique due to its ease of synthesis, environmental stability, and simple doping/dedoping chemistry.
  • It was discovered as “aniline black” in an organic form as part of melanin, a type of organic polymer in 1934.
  • Melanin does many things in nature, including protecting the skin by regulating UV exposure through a polyaniline interaction. In a natural form, polyaniline is usually found folded with other polymers. In
    the late 1990s it became evident that polyaniline was a flexible and highly useful polymer, and could be used in applications ranging from intelligent windows to computer chips.
  • Polyaniline is a unique type of polymer because it is a type of semiconductor. Polyaniline can be configured to conduct across a wide range, from being utterly non- conductive for insulation use to highly conductive for other electrical purposes.
  • Polyaniline, like other polymers, is highly flexible, which makes it appealing for manufacturing use.
  • Polyaniline comes in a granular form which can be mixed with an organic chemical and painted or sprayed onto a substance to form a smooth layer of polyaniline. It can also be molded into various shapes, as was done in 2000 when it was used to manufacture a computer chip.
  • Polyaniline is used in a variety of applications, because it can be easily combined with other polymers to form desired shapes. It is frequently utilized in the computer industry where it is incorporated into static free packaging, flexible electronic components, and in testing to shield against electromagnetic radiation.
  • Polyaniline also appears in construction applications, and is frequently included in corrosion resistant treatments for various surfaces. The conductivity of polyaniline makes it an ideal shield against discharges of static electricity. That is why polyaniline compounds have been used in the packaging of electronics products.
  • The potential of conducting polymers was recognised in 2000 by the Nobel Committee, which awarded the 2000 Prize in chemistry to the three inventors of conducting polymers. Their article on the topic was published in 1977. Their subsequent research has led to the formation of joint venture companies, several patents, polymer diodes and electroluminescent devices as well as producing the world’s first organic light-emitting diode displays.
  • Polyaniline is more noble than Copper and slightly less noble than Silver which is the basis for its broad use in printed circuit board manufacturing (as a final finish) and in corrosion protection.

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