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Polymers 2011, 3(1), 51-64; doi:10.3390/polym3010051

Conduction and Electrostriction of Polymers Induced by High Electric Fields

Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S. B3H 3J5, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 November 2010 / Revised: 23 December 2010 / Accepted: 24 December 2010 / Published: 27 December 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conductive Polymers)
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After reviewing the new physics and chemistry in high electrostatic fields we use density functional theory to show that in fields around 1.5 V/Å the bandgap of polythiophene reduces to zero leading to field-induced metallization. In poly(ethylene glycol), on the other hand, such fields lead to giant electrostriction of over 20% in length. Lastly, we give two examples of field-induced polymerization: (1) the closure of sulfur molecules Sn at n = 8 is suppressed remaining linear up to n ~ 20. (2) This also happens to water which forms linear whiskers up to n ~ 11.
Keywords: polythiophene; poly(ethylene glycol); sulfur polymers; water polymers polythiophene; poly(ethylene glycol); sulfur polymers; water polymers
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Karahka, M.; Kreuzer, H.J. Conduction and Electrostriction of Polymers Induced by High Electric Fields. Polymers 2011, 3, 51-64.

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