SKKU Joint Research Team Succeeds in Combining Highly Conductive Healable Nanocomposites 2020.05.14
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SKKU Joint Research Team Succeeds in CombiningHighly Conductive Healable Nanocomposites

The team developed a highly conductivenanocomposite that can be healed even after being deformed and damaged.

- The research results are expected to be utilized to improve how damaged electrical circuits are repaired.

[Image 1] SKKU Joint Research Team: Professors SeunghyunBaik, Hyungpil Moon, and Moon Ki Kim

Prof. Seunghyun Baik’s research team in the School of Mechanical Engineering stated that highly conductive healable nanocomposites were developed with Prof. Seunghyun Baik’s and Prof. Hyungpil Moon’s research teams. Even after repeatedly breaking and recovering more than 1,000 times, the conductivity of the new material can be restored. Researchers Daewoo Suh (Ph.D.) and K. P. Faseela contributed equally as co-first authors.

Highly conductive materials that can recover after being deformed and damaged have recently been in the spotlight. This technology is the key to future electric and electronic devices such as artificial skin, IoT, and bioelectronic devices. However, there was a technical limitation that the conductivity of the material could not be fully restored to its original condition when the material had mechanical and electrical damage.

[Image 2] Highly conductive healable nanocomposites afterbeing damaged and having various form modifications based on a network ofsilver nanosatellite particles

The research team succeeded in synthesizing the densely and uniformly distributed silver nanosatellite particle network by chemically etching microscale silver flakes during the composite material mixing process. The conductive network was formed through electronic tunneling without a direct connection between the particles. The network not only reached high electrical conductivity, but also recovered its original structure, even though it had been broken. Even after breaking and healing 1,000 times the electrical conductivity was perfectly restored. The changes in mechanical characteristics were theoretically calculated and the conductivity was maintained stably even when submerged or exposed to air for a long period.

The new developed highly conductive healable nanocomposites are putty or playdough-like and are moldable and healable after being damaged. Therefore, this discovery is expected to be applied to the restoration of damaged electrical parts and circuits by using robots in disaster situations or extreme environments where people are restricted from entering.

[Image 3] SKKU Joint Research Team: Professors SeunghyunBaik, Hyungpil Moon, and Moon Ki Kim

This work was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2020R1A2C3003199 and NRF-2017R1A2A1A17069289). The results were published on May 7th (Thursday) in Nature Communications, a world-renowned science and technology journal.

    ※  The title of paper: Electron Tunneling of Hierarchically Structured Silver Nanosatellite Particles for Highly Conductive Healable Nanocomposites

Author information: Daewoo Suh (First author), K. P. Faseela (Co-first author), Wonjoon Kim, Chanyong Park, Jang Gyun Lim, Sungwon Seo, Moon Ki Kim, Hyungpil Moon & Seunghyun Baik (Corresponding authors)

Journal where the paper is published: Nature Communications


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