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46 SMT007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2018 allowing employees to be more productive. Then again, some products are "leaners" that are tough to categorize. The Wright brothers' first airplane was revo- lutionary, but there is some debate about whether the first jet plane was too since it's really just an airplane with a more powerful engine. Similarly, the Tesla seems revolution- ary to most of us, but electric vehicles (EVs) have been around since the 1800s, and one EV held the world land speed record until 1900. Is a new type of fastener or squeegee capable of being revolutionary? Undoubtedly, some companies will say so, especially if they increase their profit margin. Products at IPC APEX EXPO Keep all of this in mind as you roam the aisles at IPC APEX EXPO. You'll probably see some "leaners," somewhere between evolutionary and revolutionary. IPC's Connected Factory Initiative (CFX) comes to mind. The open- source CFX standardizes machine-to-machine communications, allowing one person to monitor all of the machines on a line through a smartphone. But is CFX a truly revolution- ary? You be the judge. Try it out in San Diego next month and see. To help you craft the ultimate trade show shopping list, IPC has created this handy listing of all 311 new products on display at IPC APEX EXPO. It's not too late to thumb through these pages and start making a list of new products that could put your company light years ahead. Whether your company needs the latest cutting-edge tools or not, you can find what you need at IPC APEX EXPO 2019. SMT007 by A'ndrea Elyse Messer PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY Researchers at Pennsylvania (Penn) State and North Carolina (NC) State University have developed a molecu- lar approach that can improve the piezoelectric proper- ties of organic polymers, making them suitable in flexible, wearable, and biocompatible devices. They looked at ferroelectric poly(vinylidene fluoride- co-trifluoroethylene)—P(VDF-TrFE)—copolymers and found that tailoring the molecules to specific arrangements around chiral, or asymmetric, centers led to transitions between ordered and disordered structures and created a region within the material where ferroelectric and relaxor properties compete. Relaxors are disorganized materials, while normal ferroelectric materials are ordered. In ferro- electric polymers, an MPB-like effect is induced by the molecular chain conformations that are tailored by chem- ical compositions. The simulation work was done at NC State University. The researchers used a wide variety of methods to investigate the polymer including nuclear magnetic reso- nance, X-ray powder diffraction, and Fourier-transformed infrared spectroscopy looking at the transition area and boundaries. Given the flexibility in molecular design and synthesis, this work opens up a new avenue for scalable high-performance piezoelectric polymers, according to the researchers. The research was reported in the jour- nal Nature. Qing Wang, professor of materials science and engi- neering; Yang Liu, a postdoctoral fellow in materials science and engineering; and Haibibu Aziguli and Wenhan Xu, graduate students in materials science and engineer- ing, worked on this project from Penn State. Researchers at NC State University included Bing Zhang, a graduate student at the Center for High-Performance Simulations; Wenchang Lu, research associate professor of physics; and J. Bernhole, professor of physics. The Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation supported this work. Enhancing the Piezoelectric Properties of Organic Polymers Ferroelectric poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-trifluoroethylene) molecule. (Source: Penn State)

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