Conductive Polymers are organic polymers that conduct electricity. It is a new kind of electroactive biomaterial that has potential to become an excellent material. These types of polymers are already used in microsurgical tools, computer displays, and fuel cells, and are now seeking applications in the biomaterial field. Such versatile polymers may be synthesized, as hydrogels, integrated into electrospun into microfibers.
One of the biggest advantages of conductive polymers is its processability, mostly by dispersion. These type of polymers are usually not thermoplastics, means, they are not thermoformable. However, like insulating polymers, they are organic resources. They can provide high electrical conductivity but do not show alike mechanical properties to commercially obtainable polymers.
The basic characteristics of conductive polymers is their electrochemical and chemical synthesis, the phenomena underlying their electric conductivity and the ways to adapt their properties such as composites and functionalization etc. are discussed further.
Conductivity can be defined by Ohms Law:
In the above mentioned equation, I is the current, R is the resistance, and V the voltage existing in the material. The electrical conductivity is based on the number of charge carrier i.e. electrons in the material and its flexibility. In metal it is expected that all the exterior electrons are able to carry a charge and interruption to flow of charge is mostly because of the electrons “bouncing” in to each other.
Insulators have strongly bound electrons so that closely no electron flow arises so they offer high resistance to charge flow. Therefore, conductance free electrons are essential.
Applications and Properties of Conductive Polymers
Because of its poor processability, conductive polymers have limited large-scale applications. Conductive polymers have potential in antistatic material, and they have been integrated into batteries and displays, but there have been some limitations due to their manufacturing costs, toxicity, material inconsistencies, inability to directly melt system, and poor solubility in solvents.
Conductive polymers are also promising in printing electronic circuits, organic solar cells, actuators, organic light-emitting diodes, supercapacitors, electrochromism, biosensors, chemical sensors, electromagnetic shielding, and flexible transparent displays. Another application is microwave-absorbent coatings, specifically radar-absorptive coatings. Conducting polymers are speedily growing attraction in a number of new applications with gradually processable materials with improved physical and electrical properties and lesser costs.
Since most conductive polymers need oxidative doping, the properties of the resultant state are essential. These materials are salt-like called polymer salt, which reduces their solubility in water and organic solvents and therefore their processability. Additionally, the charged organic backbone is frequently unstable towards atmospheric moisture.
Feasibility of Conductive Polymers
Technically, these type of polymers can be convenient in all the use cases of conservative metallic materials. Whereas metal processing, mining, and shipping can be costly, the conductive polymer is one of the most significant alternatives at the instant, because they are cheap, light, and simply made flexible.
Due to its potential in antistatic materials, other applications of conductive polymers that are still in development include high impact capacitor, antistatic coating, antistatic substance for traditional photographic film etc.