Recently a group of Indian scientists at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur has developed the world’s hardest known substance which also holds the capability to self-heal.
As per a TeleGraph India report, the Bengal scientists collaborated to synthesize an organic crystalline material that has a unique internal molecular structure, it is capable of repairing itself when damaged. To demonstrate this self-healing capability, the scientists used a trigger that was mild enough to make cracks in on this material. After they made the cracks, the material began to automatically reverse the damage inflicted within a fraction of a second after the needle pressure was withdrawn.
Self-healing materials are not totally new to us, they have been around for a while in different forms as such, but they are usually soft and amorphous in nature. They usually feature an internal structure that is marked by irregularities and defects. Apart from this, they require external agents such as heat, light, or other chemical products to heal. C.M. Reddy, a chemical science professor at the ISSER who led this research claimed that their self-healing material is 10 times harder than the others known to us.
He explained that it has a crystalline structure, a well-ordered internal structure, and is a favored structure in the majority of electronics and optical applications. The material has so much potential and practical uses in consumer electronic products as well. This could be implemented in phones and would greatly be beneficial. Just imagine, not having to worry about dropping your phone! There is nothing as painful as a cracked screen on your phone and hopefully, this material brings an end to that problem.