University of Illinois
Researchers from the University of Illinois have addressed the problem of the short shelf life of electronics and developed an electronic circuit that can self-heal when its metal wires break. It might seem amazing that the new system can restore conductivity within “mere microseconds”, so if your TV breaks while you are watching it, it’ll fix itself. The team used a series of 10-micron (0.01mm) micro-capsules filled with a gallium-indium liquid metal alloy and placed them along the length of a circuit; when the circuit cracks, the micro-capsules follow suit allowing the liquid metal to fill in the cracks and restore conductivity by up to 99%. Scientist claim, that this technology might have a wide range of uses in the world of industry and aerospace: for example in spacecraft and fighter planes potential catastrophes could be prevented by electronics being able to heal themselves.