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Unexpected Metal

Like the discovery of vulcanizing rubber, accidents can have some interesting results.

Article: Plastics unite to make unexpected ‘metal’Jamming the right two pieces of plastic together creates a thin but strongly conducting channel along the junction that acts like a metal, say Dutch researchers. The discovery could lead to a whole new way of making electronics from non-metallic materials, and even new superconductors.

Alberto Morpurgo’s team at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands attached a micrometer-thick crystal of the organic polymer TTF to a similarly thin organic crystal of the polymer TCNQ.

The thin, flexible crystals conform to each other’s shape and stick together due to van der Waals forces, says Morpurgo. Read more