techprophet writes to mention that a new take on self-healing plastic could provide a long-term solution to scratched screens. The new polymer, developed by scientists at the University of Southern Mississippi, uses UV light to reform bonds between molecules rather than embedded healing agents of similar systems. "At the core of their design is polyurethane, which is an elastic polymer that already has decent scratch resistance. To enhance its ability to withstand mechanical damage, Ghosh and Urban added two more components, OXE and CHI. OXE has an unstable chemical structure (a four-membered ring containing three carbons and one oxygen) that makes it prone to being split open. CHI is UV sensitive. The idea is that, if the polyurethane gets damaged by a scratch, the unstable ring structure of OXE will open to create two reactive ends. Then, UV light can trigger CHI to form new links with the reactive ends of OXE and thereby fix the break in the polymer."
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