Scientists create plastic electronics

April 6, 2010 at 1:53 PM

PRINCETON, N.J., April 6 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say they've developed a method of producing electricity-conducting plastics that could dramatically lower the cost of solar panels.

Princeton University engineers said the resulting plastics are translucent, malleable and able to conduct electricity -- all features that open the door to broader use of plastics in a wide range of electrical devices.

"Conductive polymers (plastics) have been around for a long time, but processing them to make something useful degraded their ability to conduct electricity," said Associate Professor Yueh-Lin Loo, who led the research. "We have figured out how to avoid this trade-off. We can shape the plastics into a useful form while maintaining high conductivity."

The multi-institutional team reported its research in a paper published online March 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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