UCLA and Fibron Collaborate in Development of Conducting Polymer Thin Films (11/2/2010)

Fibron Technologies specializes in processable and nanostructured conducting polymers. Among the company’s co-founders are UCLA Chemistry Professor Richard B. Kaner, Ph.D. and two graduates from his laboratory.

When water and oil are mixed, a blend of droplets is formed, creating a water–oil interface that serves as an entry point for trapping polymer nanofibers at liquid–liquid interfaces. As droplets unite, a change in the concentration of blended solids at the water–oil interface leads to a difference in surface tension. Spreading up a glass wall occurs as result of an attempt to reduce the surface-tension difference. Directional fluid flow leads to a continuously conductive thin film comprised of a single monolayer of polymer nanofibers. The uniformity of the film surface is due to the particles being drawn out of the water–oil interface, sandwiched between two fluids of opposing surface tensions.

Development of the technology is occurring in collaboration with Fibron Technologies Inc., with support from the National Science Foundation through a Small Business Technology Transfer grant. Fibron is a small company that has licensed the technology from UCLA. It was founded by Kaner, who serves as chief scientific adviser, and two of his former Ph.D. students — Christina Baker and Henry Tran, who have gone on to take leadership roles in the company. read more

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