A major difficulty in the development of flexible electronics is that the materials used cannot withstand stretching, bending or breaking. Now researchers at Penn State University in Pennsylvania (USA) have developed a new electronics material that can repeatedly heal itself and restore its properties.
Previously researchers managed to make self-healing materials that can restore a single function after the material breaks, but the ability to restore multiple functions is essential for the implementation of wearable electronics. For example, if a dielectric retains its electrical resistance after self-healing but not its thermal conductivity, there is a risk of overheating of the electronic components.
The material developed by the researchers at Penn State restores all properties necessary for use as a dielectric in wearable electronics: mechanical strength, electrical breakdown strength, electrical resistance, thermal conductivity, and dielectric (insulating) properties.