Self-healing materials to complement nanotube surfaces

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You may remember our report from last year's Nokia World about the research being done into Carbon nanotube surfaces that may be applied to future devices. The problem with such coatings are that they are easily damaged and thus have a short lifespan. The BBC has reported on a new approach to self-healing surfaces that could possibly complement these 'functional' coatings.

Researchers publishing in the Advanced Materials Reports have worked out a method to extend the lifespans of coatings that will hopefully repel water and dirt. Even the smallest scratch can negate the special properties of functional coatings. To address this problem, Prof Bert de of the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands (et al) have discovered a nano-structure that will give self-healing properties. By adding these structures to the end of polymer "stalks" which are then mixed into the coating material, surface scratches are replaced with a new "self-orientating" layer.

This self-repairing quality means that scratches are removed automatically without the need for a device owner to apply a material to fill or otherwise obscure a scratch. The catch is that this technology is six to eight years away!

Nokia World  2011:
High speed camera, linked to Nokia 700 with Hydrophobic touch layer, and Hydrophobic coated polymer sheet

Source / Credit: BBC News