Researchers say the material can stitch itself back together in less than 24 hours
Researchers say the material can stitch itself back together in less than 24 hours

Smartphone screens could soon repair themselves thanks to breakthrough self-healing material

Crucially, it can conduct electricity

Aatif Sulleyman
Wednesday 05 April 2017 12:16
Comments

Scientists have developed a self-healing material that could be used for smartphone screens as soon as 2020.

This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen so-called “self-healing” technology used in smartphones.

The LG G Flex 2, which came out in 2015, features a “self-healing” back panel that’s claimed to repair “everyday scratches” in ten seconds.

However, Chemists at UC Riverside say that this is the first time scientists have managed to create self-repairing material that’s also capable of conducting electricity, which means it can be used for touchscreens.

It’s made of a stretchable polymer and an ionic salt, and features a type of bond called an ion-dipole force, reports Business Insider.

The researchers say the material can stitch itself back together in less than 24 hours after being torn apart, with its charged ions and polar molecules attracting and aligning to complete the repair.

Gorilla Glass is the screen material of choice for most high-end smartphones right now, but it’s extremely prone to shattering on impact, leaving users to decide between buying a new handset or spending a significant amount of money on a replacement screen.

“Self-healing materials may seem far away for real application, but I believe they will come out very soon with cellphones,” said Chao Wang, a chemist leading the project.

“Within three years, more self-healing products will go to market and change our everyday life. It will make our cellphones achieve much better performance than what they can achieve right now.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in