Polyaniline (PANI) is a conducting polymer of the semi-flexible rod polymer family. Polyaniline is among a family of conductive polymers, and has properties similar to some metals. It was discovered as “aniline black” in an organic form as part of melanin, a type of organic polymer in 1934.
Melanin does many things in nature, including protecting the skin by regulating UV exposure through a polyaniline interaction. In a natural form, polyaniline is usually found folded with other polymers.
In the late 1990s it became evident that polyaniline was a flexible and highly useful polymer, and could be used in applications ranging from intelligent windows to computer chips.