IBM researchers have found a new family of fluoropolymers that one day could by used in advanced electronics and medical devices.
Fluoropolymers today find wide use in industrial and consumer applications that capitalize on their low coefficient of friction and resistance to water, chemicals and heat. New fluoropolymers discovered by IBM researchers contain a sulfur compound not present in conventional fluoropolymers first found by accident in 1938 by DuPont Co. chemist Roy Plunkett.
At IBM's Almaden laboratories in San Jose, Calif., researchers combined benchtop chemistry and computer-aided quantum chemistry to come up with fluorinated poly arylthioethers, a new class of polymers distantly related to fluoropolymers, polyethers and polysulfides.
The discovery was made during searches for exotic materials useful to IBM's work in life sciences and advanced materials.