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LIGHT-EMITTING POLYMER SYNTHESIS: Versatile New Route Makes Potentially Important Materials Available For R&D
Published 1998 · Engineering
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Thin films of light-emitting polymers might one day form the basis of large, low-cost, lightweight, flexible luminescent displays for computers, televisions, and other devices. But progress toward these applications has been slow because thin films of perhaps the most promising family of light-emitting polymers—poly( p -phenylene vinylene) (PPV) and its derivatives—aren't easy to prepare. The polymers generally are highly insoluble and thus difficult to process, explains polymer chemist Bing R. Hsieh of Xerox Corp.'s Wilson Center for Technology in Webster, N.Y. Most of the conjugated polymers that have been reported are available in only milligram quantities because the monomers also are hard to make in larger amounts, he adds. Hsieh and his collaborators now have developed simple, routine synthetic methods for preparing a wide range of monomers and soluble PPV derivatives in multigram quantities. "By overcoming both the processibility and availability issues in PPV," he tells C&EN, "we are in an excelle...