Do you get nervous when somebody borrows your phone? Not because they could invade your privacy, but just because they could drop it and break its glass? you’re not alone, and therefore the researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata may just found the right material to form a smartphone screen: A transparent material that’s hard and self-heals when cracked.
Scientists are working for many years to develop materials which will heal themselves, and that they have had some success, too. for instance, American Chemical Society researchers were ready to develop small, swimming robots which will magnetically heal themselves, while researchers from the National University of Singapore took a special approach by making smart foam material that permits robot hands to self-repair & sense objects.
However, one issue with these projects is that they’re soft and opaque and not very suitable for rugged applications. therefore the researchers at IISER, along side those at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur decided to specialise in developing something that’s harder than conventional self-healing material, as reported by The Telegraph India.
The researchers used a piezoelectric organic material, which converts mechanical to electricity energy & vice-versa , to form needle-shaped crystals that are not quite 2 mm long or 0.2 mm wide, consistent with the experimental results which were published within the journal Science.
Due to their molecular arrangement within the specially designed crystals, a strong-attractive-force developed between 2 surfaces. whenever a fracture occurred, the attractive forces joined the pieces back again, without having an external stimulus like heat or others that the majority self-healing materials would wish .
“Our self-healing material is 10 times harder than others, and it’s a well-ordered internal crystalline structure, that’s favored in most electronics & optical applications,” lead researcher Professor Chilla Malla Reddy of IISER said.
“I can imagine applications for an everyday device,” said Bhanu Bhushan Khatua, a member of the team from IIT Kharagpur.” Such materials might be used for mobile screens which will repair themselves if they fall & develop cracks.”
There is just one problem, though. it’d not be commercialized and available by the time you’re bent get your next smartphone.