Mobility: Synthetic polymers may allow Self-healing devices

Mobility: Synthetic polymers may allow Self-healing devices
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TechNews: “Technion researchers hypothesize that a flexible polymer material could make it possible to use touch technology in more innovative ways, such as the development of flexible phones or tablets and electronic skin that can repair a scratched screen automatically.

“We have developed a complete, self-healing device in the form of a bendable and stretchable chemiresistor where every part, no matter where the device is cut or scratched, is self-healing,” says Technion professor Hossam Haick. He says flexible sensors will be able to precisely measure the makeup and touch of a user, ensuring that only their finger or thumb is the one that a device responds to. The flexibility of this new material could be used to create portable devices made almost exclusively from flexible materials.

Image from right to left shows the progress of healing repair on the polymer material developed at the Techinion

The breakthrough is a new kind of synthetic polymer that includes self-healing properties similar to human skin. In addition, the material can heal itself even at extreme temperatures, a property that can extend applications of the self-healing sensor to areas of the world with extreme climates, according to the researchers. “The self-healing sensor raises expectations that flexible devices might someday be self-administered, which increases their reliability,” says Technion researcher Tan-Phat Huynh.

With flexible sensors, for example, passwords could become a thing of the past, as sensors will be able to precisely measure the makeup and touch of a user, ensuring that only their finger or thumb is the one that a device responds to.

The results of the research were published in the latest issue of the professional journal Advanced Materials. According to the study, the Technion team has developed “a non-biological and flexible self-healing platform with tailored sensitivity toward one or a combination of pressure, strain, gas analytes and temperature.”

Source: The Times of Israel via TechNews
Photo Credits:

Header: Rachel Hyman: Rainbow nematic / FlickR
Center: Polymer repair / Technion via The Times of Israel