Chemists at the University of California have invented a phone screen material that can heal itself. The new self-healing material can conduct electricity and has an ability to repair itself beyond just cuts and scratches.
Researchers say that the material is made up of a stretchable polymer and an ionic salt. The self-healing aspect is enabled by the particular ions and molecules being attracted to each other. The material can stretch to 50 times from its original size.
It has a special type of bond when the Smartphone screen breaks or has a scratch; the molecules of the screen attract and align to complete the repair. Researchers say the material can fix itself back together in less than 24 hours after being damaged or torn apart.
Most high-end smartphone’s nowadays uses Gorilla Glass as the screen material. The downside of this material is that it is extremely prone to shattering on impact.
Chao Wang, a chemist leading in the project said that “Within three years, more self-healing products will go to market and change our everyday life. It will make our cellphones achieve much better performance than what they can achieve right now.”
This is not the first time a so-called “self-healing” technology used in a Smartphone. The LG G Flex 2, which came out in 2015, already included a similar material on its back covers that can heal “everyday scratches” in ten seconds.
The difference is, the material on LG G Flex 2 does not conduct electricity unlike the new material being researched.
With advances in technology like self-healing material, Smartphone screen damage and replacements could become a thing of the past. The material will be available in 2020.