A team of scientists has developed a transparent, self-healing, highly stretchable conductive material that can be electrically activated to power artificial muscles or used to improve batteries, electronic devices, and robots.
The findings, published Dec. 23 in the journal Advanced Materials, combine the fields of self-healing materials and ionic conductors (a material that ions can flow through). Ionic conductors are a class of materials with key roles in energy storage, solar energy conversion, sensors, and electronic devices.
The material has potential applications in a wide range of fields. It could give robots the ability to self-heal after mechanical failure, extend the lifetime of lithium ion batteries used in electronics and electric cars, and improve biosensors used in the medical field and environmental monitoring, the scientists say.