Development of the world’s first workable plastic magnet at room temperature by organic chemist and polymer scientist Naveed Zaidi. Zaidi and colleagues synthesized the new material out of a combination of emeraldine base polyaniline (PANi) and tetracyanoquinodimethane (TCNQ). The measurements made by the group indicate that the material has a Curie temperature above 350 K and, more tentatively, that it is ferri-magnetic.

The choice of materials is interesting; with PANi being a metal-like conductor that is stable in air and TCNQ serving as a source of free radicals (i.e. unpaired electrons). PANiCNQ is only about 1/100th the strength of conventional metal magnets, but the researchers are hopeful about improvements. In any case, it is good enough to pick up iron filings, which is already impressive.

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