Improving technology with conducting polymers
Polymers were once restricted to providing protective and insulating coatings for packaging. The discovery of conducting polymers in the mid-1970s, however, made it possible to use polymers in creating electronic devices and batteries.
Dr. Michael Freund, Canada Research Chair in Conducting Polymers and Electronic Materials, focuses on the development of new conducting polymers in chemical sensors, electronic devices and other technologies.
Dr. Freund is working on strategies to preserve the chemical properties of organic polymers without destroying their conductive properties. This will enable their use in emerging technologies including chemical sensing, electronic memory and artificial photosynthesis. Varying the chemical, mechanical and electronic properties of conducting polymers will allow Dr. Freund to tailor them for specific functions and innovative new uses.
Dr. Freund’s team is also working with private-sector partners to ensure conducting polymer-based memory becomes the industry standard for chip technology.
Through the use of lightweight and inexpensive organic conducting polymers, Dr. Freund’s research will lead to the development of a number of smaller, cheaper and greener technologies.