Research ArticleAPPLIED SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING

All-printed magnetically self-healing electrochemical devices

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Science Advances  02 Nov 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 11, e1601465
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1601465

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Abstract

The present work demonstrates the synthesis and application of permanent magnetic Nd2Fe14B microparticle (NMP)–loaded graphitic inks for realizing rapidly self-healing inexpensive printed electrochemical devices. The incorporation of NMPs into the printable ink imparts impressive self-healing ability to the printed conducting trace, with rapid (~50 ms) recovery of repeated large (3 mm) damages at the same or different locations without any user intervention or external trigger. The permanent and surrounding-insensitive magnetic properties of the NMPs thus result in long-lasting ability to repair extreme levels of damage, independent of ambient conditions. This remarkable self-healing capability has not been reported for existing man-made self-healing systems and offers distinct advantages over common capsule and intrinsically self-healing systems. The printed system has been characterized by leveraging crystallographic, magnetic hysteresis, microscopic imaging, electrical conductivity, and electrochemical techniques. The real-life applicability of the new self-healing concept is demonstrated for the autonomous repair of all-printed batteries, electrochemical sensors, and wearable textile-based electrical circuits, indicating considerable promise for widespread practical applications and long-lasting printed electronic devices.

Keywords
  • Printed electronics
  • self-healing systems
  • batteries
  • electrochemical sensors
  • wearables

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