New Flexible Electronic Material Can Self-Heal After Being Cut in Half

June 13, 2016 | Johannes Van Zijl

Photos of self-healing material
Photo credit: Qing Wang/ Penn State. Imaged has been cropped

The material could improve the durability of wearable electronics!

One of the major hurdles in developing wearable electronics is the physical limitations of existing electronic materials. If the material gets damaged or breaks, either the functionality will decline or the device will cease to work altogether.

Now, an international team of researchers led by Professor Qing Wang from Penn State University has developed a flexible electronic material capable of repairing itself after a break.

"Wearable and bendable electronics are subject to mechanical deformation over time, which could destroy or break them," said Qing Wang in a media release. "We wanted to find an electronic material that would repair itself to restore all of its functionality, and do so after multiple breaks."

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The new material can be used as a dielectric inside wearable electronics, and it’s capable of self-repair even after multiple breaks, fully restoring all of its original electronic properties.

Watch how the material heals itself after being cut in half:

"This is the first time that a self-healable material has been created that can restore multiple properties over multiple breaks, and we see this being useful across many applications,” Wang said.

The findings were published online in Advanced Functional Materials.

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