12-01 :: January 2012
nanotimes News in Brief
These microcapsules, filled with liquid metal, sit on a gold conductive layer. If the circuit is mechanically damaged, the capsules burst to restore the conductive pathway. Each is just 10 microns across; 10 could fit side by side in a human hair. © Amanda Jones and Ben Blaiszik / ANL
burst open to leave an imprint on the paper layers beneath. Microcapsules full of perfume burst when you rub a scratch-and-stiff sticker.
“We hope that using microcapsules, which are a well-known technology, could make this technology easy to scale up for commercial use,” Moore said.
The team‘s first step was to test the system in a simple system, connecting an electrode with a wire to see if the capsules could „heal“ the circuit if cut. (Watch a demonstration of this in the video above).
“Our new self-healing materials can completely repair the circuit in less than a millisecond,” Moore said. The next step, which the researchers are begin- ning, is to test the capsules in a prototype battery.
Argonne materials scientist and battery expert Khalil Amine is helping the team adapt the capsules for lithium-ion batteries. Other collaborators are UIUC scientists Nancy Sottos and Scott White.
Benjamin J. Blaiszik, Sharlotte L. B. Kramer, Martha E. Grady, David A. McIlroy, Jeffrey S. Moore, Nancy R. Sot- tos, Scott R. White: Autonomic Restoration of Electrical Conductivity, In: Advanced Materials, Volume 24(2011), Issue 3, January 17, 2012, Pages 398-401, DOI:10.1002/ adma.201102888: