New material repairs itself if exposed to light

Scientists have created a new smart material that repairs itself when exposed to light, according to research published in the journal Nature.

The self-healing, rubbery polymer, which contains metal components that absorb ultraviolet light and turn it into heat to heal localised damage, could be used to repair materials used in transportation, packaging and construction.

“Most approaches to healable materials require heating the damaged area. Here we present metallosupramolecular polymers that can be mended through exposure to light,” said the report, authored by scientists at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland and the University of Illinois in the United States.

The new smart material may even be able to repair itself while bearing loads, the scientists found.

Read more at Nature