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Researchers Develop Flexible, Recyclable, Self-Healing Metals

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Category: research Video duration: Researchers Develop Flexible, Recyclable, Self-Healing Metals
Drawing inspiration from the natural world's ability to heal, Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Michael Bartlett and his team of postdoctoral researchers, Ravi Tutika and A B M Tahidul Haque, have developed a unique new material that is electrically conductive, flexible, recyclable, and self-healing.  
I think one of the most fascinating things about nature is that almost all the systems we see has some ability to repair themselves. And that function is almost completely absent in electronic materials today. So we're developing these liquid metal composites that are stretchable, self-healing, and ultimately recyclable. So that we can have new generations of soft electronics that can interface with the human body, soft robots or other applications that demand deformable circuitry. This material is very stretchy. You can stretch it to ten times it's original length. And when you release, it comes back to its pristine state. So the emboss lines you see here are the electrically conductive pathways. And even if you punch holes on the emboss lines, you still can conduct electricity to the LEDs. So we can cut through the material and the material can still function. You have an application for soft robotics. Also, some maybe biomedical devices. And like wearable communications systems wearable chargers, those types of stuff. We use it in different formats. Instead of having something that is rigid and can't necessarily contour to your body. What if it could have electronic devices that are seamlessly integrated into your everyday life without you actually knowing that they're present.