A new kind of self-healing, completely recyclable, and malleable “electronic skin” has been developed by scientist that has applications spanning from prosthetic development and robotics to superior biomedical tools. Electronic skin, called as e-skin, is a translucent, thin substance that can imitate the mechanical properties and functions of human skin, as per a research published in the Science Advances journal.
Sensors are been integrated into this new e-skin to evaluate air flow, temperature, pressure, and humidity. The technology has numerous unique properties, comprising a new sort of covalently linked dynamic network polymer, acknowledged as polyimine, which has been tied with silver nanoparticles to offer enhanced chemical stability, electrical conductivity, and mechanical strength.
Jianliang Xiao of the University of Colorado Boulder in the United States said, “What is exclusive here is that the polyimine’s chemical bonding we utilize enables the e-skin to be completely recyclable as well as self-healing at room temperature. Considering the huge quantity of electronic waste produced every year across the world, the recyclability of our electronic skin makes good environmental and economic sense.”
One more advantage of the new electronic skin is that it can be simply adapted to curved surfaces such as robotic hands and human arms by applying moderate pressure and heat to it with no need to establish excessive pressures. Wei Zhang of the University of Colorado Boulder said, “Let’s state you desired a robot to pay attention to a baby. In this instance, you would incorporate electronic skin on the fingers of the robot that can sense the weight of the baby. The notion is to attempt and imitate biological skin with electronic skin that has preferred functions.”
In order to recycle the e-skin, the tool is immersed into recycling solution, thus degrading the polymers into monomers (the tiny molecules that unite to form polymers) and oligomers (the polymers that have polymerization degree generally under 10) that are soluble in ethanol.