This conductive material combines the advantages of plastic and metal

This conductive material combines the advantages of plastic and metal

In order to build electronic devices, them conductors are fundamental. Traditionally, metals are used such as gold, aluminum and copper. However, these present significant constraints during processing. That is why scientists set out to create conductors made from organic materials. Although more adaptable and easier to manufacture, the latter are relatively unstable.

Of the University of Chicago scientists then decided to work on largely ignored materials. Specifically, they tested a material composed of nickel, carbon and sulfur atoms. To their surprise, this one conducted electricity particularly well in addition to being extremely stable.

For researchers, this material is plasticine-like that behaves like metal. An intriguing material to say the least, the details of which were published in the review Nature.

A material with counter-intuitive properties

Basically, conductors, whether metallic or organic, have rows of atoms arranged in a line and close together. Thanks to this arrangement, the electrons have the possibility of move like vehicles on the highway. Therefore, scientists have reasoned that to have good conductivity, a material must have straight and organized rows of atoms.

Hence their surprise about this new material. Although the molecular fragments of the latter are disorderedhe conducts electricity impressively. Simply put, the nature of this material goes against the rules that scientists know about conductivity.

New possibilities

The surprise of the researchers did not stop there, since the material also has a high stability. This feature really makes it interesting for utility applications.

“We heated it, cooled it, exposed it to air and moisture, and even poured acid and base on it, and nothing happened. »

Jiaze Xie, first author of the article

Not considering the processing of this material is relatively easy, since it takes place at room temperature, unlike metal.

Furthermore, the researchers are enthusiastic about the idea that their discovery could lead to a new design principle in L’electronic. They explained that the importance of conductors is such that almost any development of a new conductor opens up new possibilities for the technology.