Self-Healing Smartphones Developed

Posted: Apr 5 2017, 4:53am CDT | by , Updated: Apr 5 2017, 4:56am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Self-Healing Smartphones Developed
A new material not only heals itself, but it also stretches up to 50 times its usual size; these properties could fix your phone's battery if it cracks or prevent it from breaking in the first place. Credit: Wang lab
  • New Material may Allow Smartphone Screens to Self-Heal like Human Skin

A new material invented by scientists may allow smartphone screens to self-heal like human skin.

Wolverine from X-Men could apparently self-heal his wounds. Scientists have found a similar material that could be used to make the screens of smartphones in the future. It will be able to repair its scratches.

This material is more of a polymer and it has elements of electronics and soft robotics added to it. The material can be stretched and it is see-through to boot. It can even conduct ions in order to produce current.

This has a great deal of application in the world of smartphones. They will be able to literally put themselves back together again thanks to this material’s extraordinary self-healing properties.

A self-healing material resembles our skin which is a semi-permeable membrane. Even if you were to split this material in two, it would go back to being one again within a short period of time. T

hat is the wonder of it. The applications go on and on. They may even include a self-healing lithium ion battery. It could fix itself and last a longer time than ordinary batteries.

The main agent in self-healing is chemical bonding. There are basically two types of bonds. One is the covalent bond which is pretty strong and doesn’t reform easily when broken.

Then there are non-covalent bonds. They are not only weaker but much more dynamic. The hydrogen bonds that form water are non-covalent and hence allow the fluid properties of water.

While self-healing polymers have hydrogen bonds, they aren’t ideal for ionic conduction. A different type of non-covalent bond called an ion-dipole interaction could act as a force in between charged ions and polar molecules.

Ion-dipole interactions are the perfect component for manufacturing ionic conductors. A polar stretchable polymer by the name of poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) and a mobile ionic salt made the making of the material a possibility.

The end result is a material that could stretch by upto 50 times its original size. After being torn asunder, the material was able to self-repair itself within a 24 hours time span.

The experts used an artificial muscle to test the material in the lab. The material was able to make this artificial muscle move in the same manner as a real life muscle.

The researchers are currently working on improving the polymer so that it could function in extreme environments such as those of high humidity or freezing cold.

The researchers will present their work today at the 253rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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