Self-healing smartphone screens coming in 2020

Researchers at University of California suggest future smartphone displays could heal from impact damage, cuts and scratches.

Smartphone screen healing
Smartphone screen can heal using a special adhesive polymer and ionic salt Business Insider

With the advent of touchscreen smartphones in today's tech world, it has become imperative to ensure some protection for their brittle LCD screens and glass panels from shattering or scratching when dropped. Although companies like Corning and Motorola have implemented highly impact-resistant or shatter-proof Gorilla glass panels, they may not always succeed in withstanding enormous impact damage.

Consequently, scientists at the University of California (Riverside) have developed a material that's made up of a "stretchable polymer and an ionic salt," which can reportedly heal itself as specific ions and modules are attracted to one another whenever there is some damage, cut or scratch across its surface.

Here's what Chao Wang, a chemist leading the self-healing research project told Business Insider in his recent interview:

"The material, which can stretch to 50 times its original size, is made of a stretchable polymer and an ionic salt. It features a special type of bond called an ion-dipole interaction, which is a force between charged ions and polar molecules. This means that when the material breaks or has a scratch, the ions and molecules attract to each other to heal the material.

"The researchers conducted several tests on the material, including its ability to repair itself from cuts and scratches. After they tore the material in half, it automatically stitched itself back together in under 24 hours."

"This is the first time scientists have created a self-healing material that can conduct electricity, making it especially useful for use for cell phone screens and batteries," adds Wang.

This is not the first time the news of some self-healing smartphone has surfaced on the horizon as the LG G Flex was earlier touted to incorporate a self-healing back case. However, this is the first attempt at using self-healing material on a smartphone display that can conduct electricity.

If everything goes according to the blueprint, scientists at UC Riverside sound optimistic that the new technology could make its way to smartphone consumers through self-healing displays by 2020.

[Source: Business Insider]