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Hardware Science

Liquid Metal Capsules Used To Make Self-Healing Electronics 135

Posted by samzenpus
from the terminator-edition dept.
MrSeb writes "A crack team of engineers at the University of Illinois has developed an electronic circuit that autonomously self-heals when its metal wires are broken. This self-healing system restores conductivity within 'mere microseconds,' which is apparently fast enough that operation can continue without interruption. The self-healing mechanism is delightfully simple: The engineers place a bunch of 10-micron (0.01mm) microcapsules along the length of a circuit. The microcapsules are full of liquid metal, a gallium-indium alloy, and if the circuit underneath cracks, so do the microcapsules (90% of the time, anyway — the tech isn't perfect yet!). The liquid metal oozes into the circuit board, restoring up to 99% conductivity, and everything continues as normal. This even works with multi-layer printed circuit boards (PCBs), such the motherboard in your computer, too. There's no word on whether this same technology could one day be used by Terminators to self-heal shotgun blasts to the face, but it certainly sounds quite similar. The immediate use-cases are in extreme environments (aerospace), and batteries (which can't be taken apart to fix), but long term we might one day buy motherboards with these self-healing microcapsules built in."
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Liquid Metal Capsules Used To Make Self-Healing Electronics

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  • Crack Team? (Score:5, Funny)

    by sgt scrub (869860) <saintium AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @02:29PM (#38451862)

    I don't know if I'd want to be on a crack team. I'm more of a coke team kind of guy.

  • In 1972... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @02:29PM (#38451864)

    A crack engineering unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If your circuits have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The A-Team.

  • by Pastor Jake (2510522) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @02:29PM (#38451868)

    Dearest friends,

    This "research" is nothing more than a cleverly-disguised plot to play God and create life. I must remind you all that God has given every one of you a unique soul which defines who you are...these self-healing machines have no such thing. The engineers who made this should consider the implications the technology will have on them in the next life, and halt the production of this anti-God and anti-Christian technology.

    Sincerely,
    Jake

UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things. -- Doug Gwyn

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