Vol. 6 No. 1 (2022)
Historical Articles

Path to the Synthesis of Polyacetylene Films with Metallic Luster: In Response to Rasmussen’s Article

Hideki Shirakawa
University of Tsukuba

Published 2022-03-07


  • polyacetylene film,
  • Nobel Prize 2000,
  • polymerization,
  • Ziegler-Natta catalyst,
  • fortuitous error,
  • serendipity
  • ...More

How to Cite

Shirakawa, H. (2022). Path to the Synthesis of Polyacetylene Films with Metallic Luster: In Response to Rasmussen’s Article. Substantia, 6(1), 121–127. https://doi.org/10.36253/Substantia-1426


The 2000 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded jointly to Alan J. Heeger, Alan G. MacDiarmid, and Hideki Shirakawa “for the discovery and development of conductive polymers.” Unlike metals, organic polymers or plastics do not conduct electricity. The three laureates found that polyacetylene can be doped on a film, which was initially synthesized by Shirakawa following a failed experimental trial by a Korean scientist, Hyung Chick Pyun. Later, Pyun insisted that he was the discoverer of polyacetylene films with silvery sheen. This note sheds light on the true history of the synthesis of polyacetylene films.


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