Now a new self-healable, recyclable 'e-skin'

Researchers develop new malleable e-skin self-healable, recyclable

The most interesting thing about this new e-skin is its ability to heal itself when it is torn apart.

Xiao Jianliang, assistant professor from University of Colorado Boulder led the current study.

Indeed, an electronic skin, perceived as e-skin, is a thin, translucent material that can mimic the function and mechanical characteristics of human skin.

Scientists believe the new E-skin will open some roads that otherwise would have remained blocked. It is embedded with sensors to measure pressure, temperature, airflow, and humidity, which can help in the development of better prosthetics.

All these will happen in the future but, in the meantime, E-skin is just a new invention and most probably will need some improvements.

Another remarkable property of the electronic skin is its ability to heal itself albeit the process involved is not as remarkable as that seen in the robots featured in the movie Terminator. UC Boulder research team has used covalently bonded dynamic network polymer, known as polyimine for developing the skin.

A malleable, self-healing, and fully recyclable electronic skin developed by researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder, however, may change that. "Given the millions of tons of electronic waste generated worldwide every year, the recyclability of our e-skin makes good economic and environmental sense".

An extra favorable position of the novel CU Boulder e-skin is that it can be effortlessly fit in with bended surfaces like human arms and automated hands by giving medium warmth and weight to it without presentation of surplus burdens.

Finally, to reuse the skin, the gear is splashed into reusing arrangement, influencing the polymers to debase into oligomers (polymers with polymerization degree typically underneath 10) and monomers (little atoms that can be combined into polymers) that are solvent in ethanol. This solution dissolves the matrix into small molecules, allowing the silver nanoparticle to sink to the bottom.

The healing of broken or cut e-skin is done by soaking it into a recycling solution, after which the electronic skin regains the properties of the original e-skin.

Consisting of a translucent thin band, the electronic skin (abbreviated E-skin) tries to mimic numerous human skin's properties and functionalities and can be used in a wide range of applications.

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