The modern student laboratory - Polyaniline-a conducting polymer: Electrochemical synthesis and electrochromic properties

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The dramatic nature of the color changes of the PAN films will guarantee an enthusiastic response when used as either a demonstration for high school chemistry students and nonscience audiences or as an undergraduate laboratory experiment. The multifaceted nature of this experiment allows for its incorporation into an organic, analytical, or physical chemistry laboratory syllabus depending on how the emphasis is placed. The electrochemical synthetic approach is complementary to the standard chemical synthesis and finds application far beyond polyaniline. As an analytical electrochemical experiment, Faraday's law can be utilized to relate applied charge to film growth. Conductivity measurements also can be made. Kinetic studies can be done on both the synthesis and electrochromic transitions. As stated above, many factors affect the reaction rates, such as the acid or substrate used. In addition, this experiment can serve as an introduction to either solid-state chemistry or polymer chemistry, as well. The electrochromic response of PAN could complement many chemistry courses. The breadth of application of a PAN experiment is large. The academic level can be tailored to suit a high school chemistry class just as well as a research project for a college senior. The two-battery apparatus is inexpensive, easy to build, and straightforward to use. This article has been specifically left as a general guide and not presented in a rigid format in order to facilitate as wide a degree of application as possible. General references have been included to aid the interested reader in broaching the vast literature on PAN. If you are looking for a way to spice up your chemistry course with a current topic, give the PAN experiment a try.

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Journal of Chemical Education