Scientists have developed a technology for making very thin ferroelectric nylon films that can be used to create flexible electronic devices.
As the development of the microelectronics industry shifts towards wearable devices and electronic textiles, researchers are increasingly using synthetic polymers. Although nylons were first used in the 1920s for the creation of women’s stockings and are a popular type of man-made fibers for fabrics, they also exhibit ferroelectric properties.
Materials with similar characteristics are used in sensors, actuators, memory devices and energy collection. The advantage of polymers is that they can be liquefied and then cheaply processed and made components for capacitors, transistors, diodes. but previously it was not possible to make high quality thin films of ferroelectric nylons from solutions.
Scientists from the Max Planck Society, Johannes Gutenberg University and Lodz University of Technology have recently solved this long-standing problem. They developed a method for making ferroelectric nylon thin-film capacitors by dissolving nylon in a mixture of trifluoroacetic acid and acetone and then solidifying it in a vacuum..
The team managed to create smooth films only a few hundred nanometers thick. High performance prototype capacitors have demonstrated the reliability of ferroelectric nylons over millions of duty cycles.
As a reminder, another international research group recently created a diamond-strong metal conductor, which was previously thought to be impossible.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Max Planck Society