Polymers

Molecules Bend for Organic Electronics

Scientists have created a new type of electricity-conducting polymer containing both linear and ring elements. The new polymers have very different electronic properties than scientists would expect if the polymers simply added the contributions from each linear and ring component. The polymers open new avenues for moving energy within and between polymers.

Elongated Ring Polymers Get Tied Up in Knots

Scientists have used simulations to discover a special polymer liquid that, when elongated don’t just stretch out; they also tie themselves into knots. This forms massive molecular chains that can increase the fluid’s viscosity, or resistance to flow, by a factor of 20.

New Science Behind Algae-based Flip-flops

UC San Diego researchers formulated polyurethane foams, made from algae oil, to meet commercial specifications for midsole shoes and the foot-bed of flip-flops. Their latest result, in a series of recent research publications, offers a complete solution to the plastics problem—at least for polyurethanes.

A Robot and Software Make it Easier to Create Advanced Materials

A Rutgers-led team of engineers has developed an automated way to produce polymers, making it much easier to create advanced materials aimed at improving human health. The innovation is a critical step in pushing the limits for researchers who want to explore large libraries of polymers, including plastics and fibers, for chemical and biological applications such as drugs and regenerative medicine through tissue engineering.

3D-Printed Plastics With High Performance Electrical Circuits

Rutgers engineers have embedded high performance electrical circuits inside 3D-printed plastics, which could lead to smaller and versatile drones and better-performing small satellites, biomedical implants and smart structures. They used pulses of high-energy light to fuse tiny silver wires, resulting in circuits that conduct 10 times more electricity than the state of the art, according to a study in the journal Additive Manufacturing. By increasing conductivity 10-fold, the engineers can reduce energy use, extend the life of devices and increase their performance.