Synthesis and Solution Processing of Nylon-5 Ferroelectric Thin Films: The Renaissance of Odd-Nylons?

Philipp von Tiedemann, Saleem Anwar, Ulrike Kemmer-Jonas, Kamal Asadi, Holger Frey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (SciVal)


Among odd-nylons, nylon-5 exhibits the highest remanent polarization and is thus a desirable material for many applications of ferroelectric polymers. However, nylon-5 has never been used as a ferroelectric material, because the synthesis of nylon-5 and its processing into thin films are challenging. This work revisits the synthesis of nylon-5 via anionic ring opening polymerization (AROP) and studies the effect of reaction time and scale-up on (i) molecular weight (Mn), (ii) melting point (Tm), (iii) yield, and (iv) ferroelectric properties. For the first time, the molecular weight of nylon-5 is characterized via size exclusion chromatography (SEC), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, as well as matrix assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight mass spectroscopy (MALDI ToF-MS), showing Mn values of up to 12 500 g mol-1. Extended reaction times and the synthesis on a larger scale increase the molecular weight and yield. Nylon-5 thin films are fabricated from a TFA:acetone (60:40 mol%) solvent mixture. Nylon-5 thin-film capacitors are ferroelectric and show a remanent polarization as high as 12.5 ± 0.5 μC cm-2, which is stable in time. The high remanent polarization values, combined with the facile solution processing, render nylon-5 a promising candidate for future microelectronic and multi-ferroic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1900468
JournalMacromolecular Chemistry and Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • anionic ring opening polymerization
  • ferroelectric thin films
  • memory devices
  • nylon-5
  • polyamides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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