Control of Surface Charges by Radicals as a Principle of Antistatic Polymers Protecting Electronic Circuitry


Baytekin H. T., Baytekin B., Hermans T. M., Kowalczyk B., Grzybowski B. A.

SCIENCE, vol.341, no.6152, pp.1368-1371, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 341 Issue: 6152
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1126/science.1241326
  • Journal Name: SCIENCE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1368-1371
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

Even minute quantities of electric charge accumulating on polymer surfaces can cause shocks, explosions, and multibillion-dollar losses to electronic circuitry. This paper demonstrates that to remove static electricity, it is not at all necessary to "target" the charges themselves. Instead, the way to discharge a polymer is to remove radicals from its surface. These radicals colocalize with and stabilize the charges; when they are scavenged, the surfaces discharge rapidly. This radical-charge interplay allows for controlling static electricity by doping common polymers with small amounts of radical-scavenging molecules, including the familiar vitamin E. The effectiveness of this approach is demonstrated by rendering common polymers dust-mitigating and also by using them as coatings that prevent the failure of electronic circuitry.