Conductive Polymers as Organic Nanometals
This chapter discusses the metallic character and the nanoparticle structure and dynamics, the precondition for these properties and for eventual nanotechnology, the principal insolubility of organic metals (or: conductive polymers), and some actual technical applications ultimately based on their nanocharacter and on dispersion and the macrotechnology, with dramatic effects in the nanoscale. Several potential applications are actually not seriously approached, even though their feasibility has been shown. It seems that industrial development groups refrain from working with PAni as long as they are conceptually and mentally biased toward either a direct polymerization approach or a "solution" technique. The development of electrochromic windows, sensors, and gas separation membranes would need a reproducible nanotechnology for applying PAni to the substrate. With two basically different and long-term industrial uses of polyaniline, in corrosion protection and in the manufacture of printed circuit boards, both based on and only feasible with dispersion technologies, the dispersion concept has shown its value and has allowed the first significant commercial application of conductive polymers. There will be many more industrial applications in the future, as soon as the new useful property combinations of organic metals, especially polyaniline, are broader known, and more confidence has been built up in the market based on the first pioneering applications.