Scientists develop new stretchable materials that emit light and self-healing

Although there is a lot of tempting research in progress, we are still a long way from the production of stretchable electronic displays. The good news is that a team of researchers at the National University of Singapore has developed a new stretchable material that glows and self-healing, namely HELIOS. It is made from a “unique mixture” of fluoroelastomers and surfactants, and is textured much like a transparent elastic rubber plate.

Scientists develop new stretchable materials that emit light and self-healing

Assistant Professor Tee Benjamin (center) with team members Wang Guanxiang (left) and Dr. Tan Yu Jun (right).

Fluoroelastomers are fluorofluorocarbon-based synthetic rubbers, and surfactants reduce surface tension between two liquids (often used as cleaners).

Because of its high dielectric constant, the material can store more charge at lower voltages than other stretchable display technologies.

As a result, it is reported to be able to glow at 20 times the brightness, but only 1/4 of the voltage can be supplied wirelessly.

It is worth mentioning that since the bonding between molecules is reversible, it is possible to self-repair after being cut or punctured. And can be done under normal environmental conditions, without the need for heating and other auxiliary measures can be healed.

If the technology is further developed, it could be used in the future for products such as wireless displays, or even on the skin of software robots that can work in dark environments, such as disaster relief sites.

As humans become more dependent on machines and robots, the use of HELIOS to create durable, energy-efficient luminosis devices will be of great value, says the study’s lead scientist.

Manufacturers and consumers can save long-term costs and reduce the generation and energy consumption of e-waste, making advanced display technologies affordable and environmentally friendly.

Details of the study have been published in the recent journal Nature Materials.

Originally published as “A transparent, self-healing and high-dielectric for low-field-emission stretchable prols.”