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可以导电的塑料? – 译学馆
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可以导电的塑料?

A Plastic That Conducts Electricity?

你可能注意到了 电线通常是由塑料包裹着的
You’ve probably noticed that electrical wires are often wrapped in plastic,
电工使用的手套和工具都有塑料涂层
or that electricians use gloves and tools with plastic coatings.
那是因为他们不想触电致死 这样做是很明智的
That’s because they don’t want to get electrocuted, which is smart.
塑料能阻止电子流动从而预防致命的电击
Plastics prevent fatal zaps by blocking the flow of electrons.
它们是很好的绝缘体
They are good insulators.
几十年来 科学家们都是这么认为的
And for decades, that’s all scientists thought plastics could be,
直到实验室中发生的一个错误 永远改变了电子工业的未来
until a mistake in a lab forever changed the future of electronics.
那是在1974年 一位名叫秀城方明的日本化学家正在测试做塑料的新方法
It was 1974, and a Japanese chemist named Hideki Shirakawa was testing new ways of making plastics.
在他的实验室里 某个人在反应中不小心把某种东西多加了一千倍
When someone in his lab accidentally added 1,000 times more of one thing to the reaction than normal,
结果很奇怪 得到了一个银色的有金属光泽的薄片 它其实是塑料
the result was bizarre: a silvery, shiny foil that was a plastic,
但是看起来很像金属
but looked a lot like metal.
方明把这个奇怪的塑料给另一位名叫艾伦·麦克迪尔米德的化学家看
Shirakawa showed his strange plastic to a fellow chemist named Alan MacDiarmid,
然后他们找来一位物理学家艾伦·黑格
and then they brought in a physicist, Alan Heeger,
一起找到了一种方法 把这种具有金属外形的塑料改进了一下 使它像金属一样也可以导电
and together, they found a way to tweak the metallic-looking plastic so it conducted like a metal, too.
这种做法尚属首例 2000年三位科学家因发现可导电塑料
That had never happened before, and the three won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2000
获得了诺贝尔化学奖
for discovering conductive plastics.
如今 科学家们已经发明了无数可导电的塑料来做各种各样的事情
Today, scientists have invented thousands of conductive plastics to do all sorts of things,
像保护电子设备使之免受静电损坏 或者制作成本更低的太阳能电池板
like protecting your electronics from static shocks or building cheaper solar panels.
所有塑料制品 从特百惠到牙刷上的毛 都是用聚合物制成的
All plastic—from Tupperware to the bristles of your toothbrush—is made of polymers,
聚合物就是重复的化学单元组成的长长的分子链
which are just long chains of repeating chemical segments.
例如 方明发现的聚合物聚乙炔就是一长链的碳原子
For instance, Shirakawa’s polymer, polyacetylene, is just a chain of carbon atoms.
聚乙炔的特别之处在于单键和双键的交替模式
But what makes polyacetylene special is an alternating pattern of double and single bonds.
通常化学键把电子固定在适当的位置
Usually bonds hold their electrons in place,
但是在这种模式下双键分享电子
but this pattern lets the double bonds share their electrons.
这种电子分享或结合的方式 使得聚合物分子链的电子运动
And this electron-sharing, or conjugation, allows polymer chains move electrons
就像微观的“救火队列” 传递电子来导电
like a microscopic bucket brigade, passing them along to conduct electricity.
但是它本身的结构不足以把绝缘体变成导体
But conjugation on its own isn’t enough to transform an insulator into a conductor.
毕竟 聚乙炔导电性能不是很好
Polyacetylene, after all, didn’t conduct electricity very well right away.
那是因为 它充满了电子
That’s because it was too packed with electrons.
想象一下 在一个救火列队里 每个人都拿着一个桶
Imagine being in a bucket brigade where everyone is holding a bucket.
你不可能再拿旁边那个人手里的桶 因为你手里已经有桶了
You can’t take the bucket from the person beside you, because your hands are already full of the bucket,
你也不能再把桶传给别人 因为那个人已经有桶了
and you can’t pass your bucket on because that person also already has a bucket.
但是如果你去掉一些桶 问题就解决了
But if you just take out a few buckets, problem solved.
科学家就是把这个原理应用到了塑料上
And that is exactly what the scientists did to the plastic.
他们去掉了其中的一些电子
They removed some of its electrons.
分子链中有了一些空隙 电子就可以轻易地被传递 聚乙炔的
With a few gaps in the chain, electrons could easily be passed around, and polyacetylene
导电性比之前高了一千万倍
became more than 10 million times more conductive.
瞧!
Voila!
现在 虽然聚乙炔在导电聚合物的发明过程中起了很重要的作用 但是
Now, polyacetylene is important to the origin story of conductive polymers, but in the last
在过去的四十年里 科学家们开发出了一些新东西 像聚乙撑二氧噻吩
40 years scientists have developed a bunch of other ones, including PEDOT.
它存在于很多东西中 但是它最重要的作用是 防静电
It’s in a bunch of things, but it’s best known for preventing static shocks.
静电会让你烦恼
Static electricity might annoy you,
在你从地毯上走过去开门时电你一下
jolting you a little after walking across some carpet to open the door.
而对于精密电子设备来说 被静电击中会是致命的
But static shocks can be fatal to delicate electronics.
那些微小的电流包可能使晶体管过热而烧坏
Those tiny packets of current can superheat an unprepared transistor and fry it.
一些公司开始把聚乙撑二氧噻吩覆盖在平板电视和胶卷的表面
So some companies have started covering flat screen TVs and photographic film with PEDOT.
因为聚乙撑二氧噻吩可以导电 电子可以自由运动 将电荷从已经存在或者潜藏的静电中释放出去
Because PEDOT is conductive, electrons can move easily, dispersing the charge from real
从而避免造成损坏
and potential shocks before there’s any damage.
毕竟 涓涓细流不会像消防水管那样危险
After all, a trickle isn’t as dangerous as a firehose.
聚乙撑二氧噻吩和其他新型导电塑料的一大优点是可以被打印
And one big perk of PEDOT and other newer conductive plastics is that they can be printed.
研究者已经用旧喷墨打印机打印出了晶体管和其他电子设备
Researchers have hacked old inkjet printers to print working transistors and other electronics.
规模大一些的工厂更厉害
And factories working on a larger scale can go even further,
他们在大块柔软的板片上面制作像太阳能电池那样的东西
building things like solar cells on huge, flexible sheets.
太阳能电池通常是用硅做的
Solar cells are usually made from silicon.
但是那样做出来的太阳能电池既重又昂贵
But that makes them heavy and expensive.
塑料则既轻成本又低
Plastic is lightweight and cheap to produce.
所以 虽然目前来说聚合物太阳能电池的效率不如硅太阳能电池
So, even though polymer solar cells right now are less efficient than the silicon kind,
科学家们最终认为 他们可以把太阳能电池放在任何东西上
eventually, scientists think they’ll be able to put solar cells on just about anything,
从百叶窗到背包
from your window shades to your backpack.
导电塑料也随时准备着代替各种其他器件
Conductive plastics are also poised to replace all sorts of other devices.
科学家们正在努力发明可弯曲的屏幕和电池
Scientists are working to invent flexible screens and power sources.
那意味着将来某天你可以把你的屏幕甚至整个手机卷起来
That means you may someday be able to roll up your screen, or even your whole phone!
知道吗 当某天我们看到这样的东西时可能会说 哦 天哪 你能相信
You know, someday we’re gonna look at this thing and be like, “oh my god, can you believe
那个过时的糟糕的技术吗?
that outdated, terrible piece of technology?”
所以导电塑料曾经是一个自相矛盾的概念
So, conductive plastics used to be an oxymoron.
但是一个偶然事件 再加上很多辛苦的工作 永远地改变了它
But an accident—and a lot of hard work—has changed that for good,
我迫不及待地想看到我的可弯曲智能手机
and I cannot wait for my bendy smartphone.
感谢观看本期由众筹网的赞助者们带来的科学秀
Thank you for watching this episode of SciShow, which was brought to you by our patrons on Patreon.
众筹网是一个大家为做项目的人提供资金
Patreon is a place where people just give money to people who are making things
以保证项目持续进行下去的地方
so that they can keep making them.
如果你想那样做 我们会非常感激
If you would like to do that, boy, would we appreciate it.
如果你是这些人的其中一个 那么非常感谢
If you are one of those people, thank you so much.
如果你只是想看看我们制作的有趣的东西 想变得更加聪明
And if you just want to keep getting smarter with us, seeing all this fun stuff that we make,
可以去youtube.com/scishow订阅
you can go to youtube.com/scishow and subscribe.

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视频概述

大家都认为塑料是绝缘体,是不能导电的。但是你知道吗?科学家们早就发明了可导电塑料,并且得到了很大应用。包括平板电视和胶卷,太阳能电池,甚至还有未来的可弯曲手机等(材料化学)

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

Jessie

审核员

Ah~Qiu

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlLZVxNK3Jg

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