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Boron nitride nanosheets enable electronic materials with automatic repair functions

Researchers have developed a flexible electronic material that can be self-healing even after multiple breaks and has many repair functions. The material shown here is cut into two parts, and the self-healing material can still be stretched and loaded.

The existing electronic materials have become a major stumbling block to the development of flexible electronic technology because the performance of existing materials after breakage and healing is no longer good. And a new type of electronic materials developed by an international team, even after repeated damage can automatically heal all its functions. This material can improve the durability of portable electronic products. “Portable and flexible electronic products will be mechanical deformation with the extension of using time, which may damage or damage these electronic products," said Wang Qing, the professor of School of materials science and engineering Pennsylvania State University. “We wanted to find an electronic material that could fix all of its features even after it was damaged by multiple breaks."

Self-healing materials, that is, subject to physical deformation, such as being cut into two halves, etc., but also in almost no external interference under the natural repair themselves. In the past, researchers have been able to develop some self-healing materials that can repair part of the function after damage, however, the ability to repair a range of functional materials is the key to developing effective portable electronic products. For example, if a dielectric material retains its resistivity after healing, its thermal conductivity does not recover, which may expose the risk of overheating of the electronic product.

Wang and his team developed materials that are capable of repairing all the properties and mechanical strength required for portable electronic product media to prevent rupture strength, resistivity, thermal conductivity and dielectric or insulation rates for strong electrical vibrations. They have published this research online in the " Advanced Functional Materials" magazine.

Wang said most self-healing materials are soft or "chewing gum type", but he is more solid than the materials he developed by his colleagues. His team added boron nitride Nanosheets to a polymer-based material. Like graphite, boron nitride Nanosheets are two-dimensional, but unlike conductive graphene, this material has insulation and protection properties. Most of the research on self-healing electronic materials is focused on the electrical conductivity of the material, while the dielectric properties are ignored. We need conductive elements in the circuit, but we also need microelectronics for insulation and protection.

This material is self-healing because the boron nitride Nanosheets are interconnected by hydrogen bonding groups and functionally self-healing on the surface. When the two pieces are placed very close, the two bonding elements will naturally produce electrostatic attraction, which will pull them close to each other. When the hydrogen bond repair connection, the two components will "heal”. Depending on the proportion of boron nitride Nanosheets added to the polymer, such self-healing may require additional heat or pressure, but some forms of new material may self-heal at room temperature when placed close to each other.

Unlike other restorable materials that are connected by hydrogen bonds, boron nitride Nanosheets have poor water permeability. This means that the use of the dielectric material of the device can be in a high humidity environment, such as in the shower or on the beach to work effectively. Pennsylvania State University and Harbin Institute of Technology Wang. Lixin Xing said, "This is the first time, has been developed self-healing materials can be broken after many times to repair a variety of performance, and we can see that this in a number of applications is very useful.