Using Modified Oligoaniline as a Model for Conductive Polymers at the Nanometer Scale
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The potentially conductive qualities of polyaniline and other polymers has lead to research on how these compounds can be made into molecular 'wires'. These compounds exist on the nanometer scale, making them the ideal replacement for materials such as silicon in future technology. The possibility that these compounds can be made conductive or non-conductive by a variety of chemical modifications such as changes in pH or exposure to certain wavelengths of light makes them even more useful as a material for electronics in a variety of markets, from personal computers to spacecraft. Before these polymers can be made effective, tests must be performed on shorter chains called oligomers. The lengths of these molecules can be controlled, enabling modifications. My experiment involves making octaaniline and coupling either end to certain functional groups that will facilitate turning the molecule into a conductor. The first step in this process is making the octamer from aniline, production of which is underway. The second step will involve the functionalization of the chain.