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New malleable 'electronic skin' self-healable, recyclable

Press Trust of India  |  New York 

Scientists have developed a new type of malleable, self-healing and fully recyclable "electronic skin" that has applications ranging from and prosthetic development to better Electronic skin, known as e-skin, is a thin, translucent material that can mimic the function and mechanical properties of human skin, according to a study published in the journal Science Advances. The new has sensors embedded to measure pressure, temperature, humidity and air flow. The technology has several distinctive properties, including a novel type of covalently bonded dynamic network polymer, known as polyimine. The polyimine has been laced with silver nanoparticles to provide better mechanical strength, and electrical conductivity. "What is unique here is that the of polyimine we use allows the to be both self-healing and fully recyclable at room temperature," said Jianliang Xiao, from the Boulder in the US. "Given the millions of tons of electronic waste generated worldwide every year, the recyclability of our makes good economic and environmental sense," Xiao said. Another benefit of the new is that it can be easily conformed to curved surfaces like human arms and robotic hands by applying moderate heat and pressure to it without introducing excessive stresses. "Let's say you wanted a to take care of a baby," said from the Boulder. "In that case you would integrate on the fingers that can feel the pressure of the baby.

The idea is to try and mimic biological skin with that has desired functions," Zhang said. To recycle the skin, the device is soaked into recycling solution, making the polymers degrade into oligomers (polymers with degree usually below 10) and monomers (small molecules that can be joined together into polymers) that are soluble in ethanol.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, February 10 2018. 16:05 IST
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