(May 16, 2016) A new, more durable electronic material has recently been created to repair itself and heal all its functionality even after breaking several times.
Phys.org detailed, “Self-healable materials are those that, after withstanding physical deformation such as being cut in half, naturally repair themselves with little to no external influence.”
“Researchers have been able to create self-healable materials that can restore one function after breaking, but restoring a suite of functions is critical for creating effective wearable electronics,” claimed Phys.org. That is to say, “if a dielectric material retains its electrical resistivity after self-healing but not its thermal conductivity, that could put electronics at risk of overheating.”
Phys.org reported that the material the team created, “restores all properties needed for use as a dielectric in wearable electronics—mechanical strength, breakdown strength to protect against surges, electrical resistivity, thermal conductivity and dielectric, or insulating, properties.” They added “boron nitride nanosheets to a base material of plastic polymer” which is much like graphene, except two dimensional and resists and insulates against electricity, rather than conducts it.
“The material is able to self-heal because boron nitride nanosheets connect to one another with hydrogen bonding groups functionalized onto their surface. When two pieces are placed in close proximity, the electrostatic attraction naturally occurring between both bonding elements draws them close together. When the hydrogen bond is restored, the two pieces are “healed”,” according to Phys.org.
The findings have been published online in Advanced Functional Materials.
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