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Self-Healing Conductive Gel Developed

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 06:19AM

Everybody knows that accidents happen and electronics get broken and for now all you can do is hope the damage is minimal or has an easy fix. In the future though, our devices may have the ability to heal themselves, even if the damage is severe. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have recently created a new self-healing gel that can also be used to improve the flexibility of electronics.

Self-healing materials have been developed before, but they require some kind of external stimulus to work, like light or heat. This gel is able to self-heal on its own though, which increases its potential. It is actually made of two other gels, with one having self-assembling capability and the other is a conductive hydrogel. The conductive hydrogel contains disc-shaped liquid crystal molecule that improves conductivity to be about ten times that of many other polymer hydrogels. The self-assembling gel is what gives the mix its self-healing ability and contains terpyridine molecules and zinc atoms.

While the prospect of electronics that heal damage to them is tantalizing, this gel could also be used to make circuits flexible. By applying it to junction points, the gel could allow the circuit to be bent without breaking. It also has potential inside batteries for storing electrical charge.

Source: University of Texas at Austin

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