Most of today's high-end smartphones have displays made of Gorilla Glass, which is hard, but fragile and sensitive to shocks and drops. As a result, users often find themselves in a sad dilemma: buy a new one or seriously spend money on repairing an old gadget.
By about 2020, smartphones should appear, the screens of which will be made of self-healing material. Devices that have come close to this idea are already on the market, for example, the LG Flex 2 smartphone has a self-healing back panel on which everyday scratches disappear within 10 seconds.
Chemists at the University of California, Riverside went even further. They managed to obtain a self-healing conductive material suitable for creating touch screens. It consists of a combination of an elastic polymer and an ionic salt, interacting with each other due to ion-dipole forces. According to the researchers, damaged material can heal itself in 24 hours.
“Materials that self-repair the structure may now seem far from being used, ” explains project lead chemist Wang Chao. "But I believe they will be part of most mobile phones in the near future."