📰 An unbreakable screen and power generator!

Imagine a cell phone that charges at the speed of your thumbs! And even better, if the screen breaks, it fixes itself! This is the research project of Twinkal Patel, a graduate student in the Oh research group at theConcordia University (Concordia University (derived from the motto of Montreal, Concordia…).

Led by Professor John Oh, the group of research (Scientific research primarily refers to all measures taken to …) Oh specializes in the self-assembly of nanomaterials. While researching the chemical properties of polyurethane-based automotive paints, John Oh and Twinkal Patel also came up with the idea of ​​using these properties in automotive paint design Screen (A monitor is a common output device of a computer. It is the screen on which…) from phone (The telephone is a communication system originally developed for the transmission of speech…) in urea (Urea or carbamide (INN) is an organic compound with the chemical formula CO(NH2)2. It is…) polyloaded* that repairs itself everything (The whole understood as the whole of existing is often interpreted as the world or…) just. Working on the synthesis conditions, Twinkal Patel a network (A computer network is a set of devices connected to share information…) of PHU polymers called Vitrimer, i.e. a material (A material is a material of natural or man-made origin that man shapes…) glassy in appearance but retains some malleability. For example, when deformed, the network can reorganize its bonds to regain its original shape. That makes it self-repairing. Indeed when Twinkal Patel rubs his polymer (A polymer (etymology: from Greek pollus, several, and meros, part) is a…) with something paper (Paper (from the Latin papyrus) is a material made of fibers…) sandblasted, 50% of the scratches are repaired in 30 protocol (Primary form of a document: law: a protocol is the original of a…) to temperature (Temperature is a physical quantity that is measured with a thermometer and…) Ambient. With a thermal treatment (Heating a part consists in subjecting it to structural changes…) In addition, the repair is complete.

Another great idea from Twinkal Patel is to add a layer of a different material to his polymer to create a triboelectric effect. This effect is the one that is createdelectricity (Electricity is a physical phenomenon due to the different electric charges of the…) static (The word static can designate or qualify what refers to the absence of motion. It can…) when we rub two materials (A material is a material of natural or artificial origin that man molds into…) quite (In set theory, a set intuitively denotes a collection…). “If you rub a balloon against your hair, static electricity is created. This happens on a nano scale, a electric charge (Electric charge is a fundamental property of matter that respects the principle of…) on the two materials,” explains Twinkal Patel. The power must then be transferred to the phone’s battery. triboelectric effect Repeated touches like our thumbs on the screen!

Yes, but if the screen breaks and gets repaired, can it still generate electricity? The advantage of vitrimers is precisely that they retain their physical properties during their remodeling. Twinkal Patel checked it out. “We measured the tension. Then we past (The past is first of all a concept linked to time: it is made up of the whole…) the paper of Glass (Glass colloquially means a hard, fragile material or alloy…) to create scratches on the screen. Because of the scratches, there was less contact between the two materials and we saw the tension decrease. We let the polymer repair itself and the stress went back to its original level,” she describes.

Twinkal Patel developed PHU’s Vitrimer and demonstrated its electrical and self-healing properties, but this groundbreaking screen has yet to be integrated into a phone. Oh Research Group doesn’t make phones, but works with Project (A project is an irreversible commitment with uncertain outcome, not reproducible on…) with Korean academics and industrialists. Twinkal Patel is therefore preparing to leave for Korea to concretize the work of his research.

*That is a molecule (A molecule is an electrically neutral chemical arrangement of at least two atoms that…) modified urea with several large chemical groups replacing much smaller ones atoms (An atom (from the Greek ατομος, atomos, “that one cannot…) fromhydrogen (Hydrogen is a chemical element with the symbol H and atomic number 1.).

For this research, Twinkal Patel received a Concordia Graduate Student Scholarship. She also received a FRQNT-MITACS Globalink grant for her internship (An internship is mostly a time of training, learning or development…) in Korea.

Twinkal, Pate et al. Self-Healing Reprocessable Triboelectric Nanogenerators Fabricated with Vitrimeric Poly(hindered Urea) Networks, (2020) ACS nano14, 9, 11442-11451.

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