Broken phone screen, we all once or multiple times in our lives face it and we know how hard sometimes it could be to get a good fix. But now, researchers in Tokyo have discovered a new polymer that could make shattered screens a thing of the past.
The team of researchers from Japan say that they have discovered a new type of glass that may actually heal itself, potentially leading the way to a future of self-healing screens.
Published in the journal Science, the researchers believe that the hard glass-like polymer, known as “polyetherthioureas,” can heal itself with mild heat and hand pressure.
According to the researchers:
“High mechanical robustness and healing ability tend to be mutually exclusive. In most cases, heating to high temperatures, on the order of 120 degrees Celsius or more, to reorganize their cross-linked networks is necessary for the fractured portions to repair.”
For polymer to heal itself, only mild compression – by hand – and a temperature of 21 degrees Celsius – 69.8 Fahrenheit- is required.
According to The Guardian, the discovery was made by mistake by a graduate student, Yu Yanagisawa, who thought the polymer would become a type of glue.
Yanagisawa found that cut edges of the polymer would stick to each other, and formed a strong sheet after being applied enough pressure and heat. Though, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen self-repairing phone technology. However, any such breakthrough may help make costly repairs a thing of the past.