By Mary Bellis
PTFE or polytetrafluoroethylene was discovered on April 6, 1938 by Dr. Roy Plunkett at the DuPont research laboratories (Jackson Laboratory in New Jersey). Plunkett was working with gases related to Freon® refrigerants when upon checking a frozen, compressed sample of tetrafluoroethylene, he and his associates discovered that the sample had polymerized spontaneously into a white, waxy solid to form polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE.
PTFE was first marketed under the DuPont Teflon ® trademark in 1945. The molecular weight of Teflon can exceed 30,000,000, making it one of the largest molecules known. The surface is so slippery, virtually nothing sticks to it or is absorbed by it. No wonder Teflon was choosen to be used on non-stick cooking pans.
Chemical Description of Teflon
Teflon is a colorless, odorless powder, a fluoroplastic with many properties which give an increasingly wide range of uses.
Plunkett (1911-1994) - Teflon
Roy Plunkett invented tetrafluoroethylene polymers or Teflon - National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Dupont are the owners of Teflon.
Dupont's own Teflon website.
Plunkett - Teflon
In 1938, Roy Plunkett capitalized on an accident and invented one of the best known and most widely used polymers of all time: Teflon.