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Electronic Skin Capable of Recycling and Self- Healing

In a recent research, a new type of "electronic skin" has been developed by the researchers of the University of Colorado Boulder. Electronic skin is also called as e-skin. It is basically very thin and made up of a translucent material.

It can perform the important role played by human skin. Electronic skin of different sizes and types are being produced by researchers due to their vast application in robotics, prosthetic development and in producing improved biomedical devices. The newly produced CU Boulder e-skin or electronic skin is malleable, self-healing and fully recyclable. It consists of sensors that compute pressure, temperature, humidity and air flow. It has a new type of covalently bonded polymer, known as polyimine, laced with silver nanoparticles. This helps in providing better mechanical strength, chemical stability and electrical conductivity. Also this chemical bonding permits the e-skin to act as both self-healing and fully recyclable at room temperature. The CU border skin can be easily conformed to human arms and robotic hands, which are curved surfaces, by employing moderate heat and pressure. This new skin can be recycled as and when needed. This is done by soaking it into a recycling solution. As a result, the polymers break down into oligomers and monomers that effectively dissolve in ethanol. The silver nanoparticles sink to the bottom of the solution. Further, the recycled solution and nano particles are used together to make a new and effective e- skin.

By: Anuja Arora



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