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Polyacetylene (IUPAC name: polyethyne) is an organic polymer with the repeat unit (C2H2)n. The high electrical conductivity discovered for these polymers in the 1970’s accelerated interest in the use of organic compounds in microelectronics. Polyacetylenes are also known where the H atoms are replaced with alkyl groups.
Additional recommended knowledge
Structure of polyacetylene
Acetylene polymerizes in a similar fashion to ethylene: the polymerization can be effected with anionic, cationic, and radical initiators. Polyacetylene is generally not prepared by polymerizing acetylene, which is a highly flammable gas that uncontrollably oligomerizes at high concentrations. The most common syntheses use ring-opening polymerization ("ROMP") of molecules like cyclooctatetraene and substituted derivatives thereof. Depending on the method of preparation, some polyacetylenes are also called acetylene black or polyacetylene black.
Conductivity and the Nobel Prize
As prepared with a Ziegler-Natta catalyst, with high levels of catalyst, the polyacetylene is a silver, non-conductive film. It was shown in 1976 that oxidation of this material with iodine results in a 108-fold increase in conductivity. The conductivity of this doped material approaches the conductivity of the best available conductor, silver. This was one of the first known examples of a conductive organic polymer. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2000 was awarded to Alan J. Heeger, Alan G MacDiarmid, and Hideki Shirakawa for this work.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Polyacetylene". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.