Electronic fragility in flexible materials used in most wearable electronics — has prevented the technology from reaching its full potential. A research team based at Pennsylvania State University has created a way to produce more durable flexible wearable systems embedding circuits that can heal themselves after breaking. The self-healing material can withstand extreme deformation — including being cut in half - and repair itself with little outside influence.
The technology adds moisture-impermeable boron nitride nanosheets to a base layer of plastic polymer. The material is more rugged than earlier self-healable materials, and can self heal several times. The boron nitride nanosheets can link to each other via hydrogen bonding groups found on their surfaces. When two sheets are placed in close proximity, the naturally occurring electrostatic attraction draws them together.When the hydrogen bond is restored, the two pieces are healed.