An anonymous reader quotes a report from Interesting Engineering: [Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata] along with those at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur decided to focus on developing something that is harder than conventional self-healing material, as reported by The Telegraph India. The researchers used a piezoelectric organic material, which converts mechanical energy to electrical energy and vice versa, to make needle-shaped crystals that aren’t more than 2 mm long or 0.2 mm wide, according to the experimental results which were published in the journal Science. Due to their molecular arrangement in the specially designed crystals, a strong attractive force developed between two surfaces. Every time a fracture occurred, the attractive forces joined the pieces back again, without needing an external stimulus such as heat or others that most self-healing materials would need.
“Our self-healing material is 10 times harder than others, and it has a well-ordered internal crystalline structure, that is favored in most electronics and optical applications,” lead researcher Professor Chilla Malla Reddy of IISER said. “I can imagine applications for an everyday device,” said Bhanu Bhushan Khatua, a member of the team from IIT Kharagpur.” Such materials could be used for mobile phone screens that will repair themselves if they fall and develop cracks.”