Self-healing Circuits Could find Use in Aerospace, Automotive Industries
December 22, 2011 1:02 PM
comment(s) - last by
Self-healing circuit at work
(Source: university if Illinois)
Tiny capsules of liquid metal keep things chugging along
There are numerous reasons why a circuit inside a gadget or electronic device might break. The result of a broken circuit inside a device is generally the device won't function properly or won't work at all. A team of researchers at the University of Illinois has discovered a cool and seemingly easy way to allow the damaged circuit to repair itself before the user knows there is a problem.
The researchers include Scott White, an aerospace engineering professor, Nancy Sottos, a materials science and engineering professor, and Jeffrey Moore, a chemistry professor. The team have taken a normal circuit and placed tiny capsules along its length that are about ten microns in size. Inside those little capsules is a liquid metal. When the circuit breaks, the capsules do too. The liquid metal then leaks out into the crack and the circuit is healed in microseconds. The repaired circuit has 99% of the conductivity of the original.
“It [the liquid metal polymer capsules] simplifies the system,” said chemistry professor Jeffrey Moore, a co-author of the paper. “Rather than having to build in redundancies or to build in a sensory diagnostics system, this material is designed to take care of the problem itself.”
The idea of the self-healing capsules is for repairs in circuits that are hard to access for normal repairs. The researchers see potential for the self-healing circuits in aviation and spacecraft. The material may have used in automotive applications too. Hints have been dropped at self-healing properties similar to this for
on vehicles in other research. This sort of self-repair would also be a great help for flexible electronic devices that are prone to have circuits break over time.
"In general there’s not much avenue for manual repair,” Sottos said. “Sometimes you just can’t get to the inside. In a multilayer integrated circuit, there’s no opening it up. Normally you just replace the whole chip. It’s true for a battery too. You can’t pull a battery apart and try to find the source of the failure."
In the past, the team developed a similar system for polymer materials repair and then adapted that system for conductive systems. “What’s really cool about this paper is it’s the first example of taking the microcapsule-based healing approach and applying it to a new function,” White said. “Everything prior to this has been on structural repair. This is on conductivity restoration. It shows the concept translates to other things as well.”
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
On the basis that the biggest value of a new invention is something you hadn't thought of ...
12/22/2011 2:16:03 PM
and the circuit is healed in microseconds.
A thought was that if the liquid metal was able to be controlled, e.g. by magnetic fields, then you may be able to create a microscopic "olde fashioned" relay, where, the two sides of the "break" in the electrical conductor were used as a set of electrical contacts, and when the liquid metal was shifted into the gap a "make" condition was achieved, and when the metal was moved out of the gap and then the electrical circuit "break" condition was achieved.
Maybe this could be used in very low voltage logic gates.
"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference
New Polymeric Car Paint Can Self-Heal Major Scratches, Dings
April 22, 2011, 8:17 AM
Nail Polish May Soon be Able to Detect Date Rape Drugs
August 26, 2014, 7:57 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight
August 23, 2014, 9:36 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
NASA Opportunity Rover Breaks Record for Most Miles Traveled on Another Planet
July 29, 2014, 1:38 PM
Most Popular Articles
HTC Preps Nexus 9 With Nvidia K1 64-Bit "Denver" SoC, Android L Onboard
September 10, 2014, 10:21 PM
Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus Reviews Roll In
September 16, 2014, 9:13 PM
Big Media: If You Want Privacy, You're Probably a Pirate
September 18, 2014, 2:57 PM
Apple Cripples NFC in iPhone 6, 6+ With Developer Ban
September 17, 2014, 1:00 PM
"Decepticon" Driver Triumphs Over Cops in Massachusetts Court
September 5, 2014, 12:07 PM
Latest Blog Posts
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information