Wanting to make electronic devices more environmentally friendly, researchers from the University of Colorado at boulder (USA) has developed a fully recyclable electronic skin able to recover in case of rupture. Scientists plan to use it for coating prosthetic devices and robots,writes The Verge, citing an article in a magazine Science Advances.
The device is a thin film with sensors that measure pressure, temperature, humidity and air flow. The film is made from a synthetic polymer polyimide and covered with silver nanoparticles. If you cut it and cover the “wound” poliaminom, the chemical bond between the two parties is restored.
If your skin cannot be repaired, it can be soaked in the recirculating solution, which will make it liquid and separate the silver nanoparticles. The resulting materials can be reused to create a new patch.
Diagram of the device, its recovery and recycling / Science Advances, 2018
The whole processing takes about 30 minutes at 60 °C or 10 hours at room temperature. “Healing” is even faster: within half an hour at room temperature or for several minutes at 60 °C.
According to scientists, one day, their product can be used in prosthetics and creating robots, but at this stage it’s not perfect: the film is soft, but not as elastic as human skin.
E-the skin is developing in many laboratories around the world. For example, one of the novelties allows you to control virtual objects without touching them. But the latest development is special as it is fully recyclable. This is an important bonus for those who are thinking about the potential harm of e-waste: circuit boards, transistors and hard drives can release toxic chemicals if not disposed of properly.