Electronic skin recyclable at room temperature

The e-skin designed by the University of Colorado at Boulder is an electronic skin that has integrated sensors to measure pressure, temperature, humidity and air flow.

In addition, it is malleable, self-repairable and fully recyclable, with applications from robotics to prostheses.


As the assistant professor explains Jianliang Xiao, who directs the research effort with the associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at CU Boulder, Wei ZhangThis new design is provided with a new type of covalently bonded dynamic network polymer, known as polyimine, which has been mixed with silver nanoparticles to provide better mechanical strength, chemical stability and electrical conductivity.

It can also be easily adapted to curved surfaces such as human arms and robotic hands by applying moderate heat and pressure without introducing excessive tensions.

What is unique here is that the chemical polyimine bonding we use allows the e-skin to be autocicable and fully recyclable at room temperature. Taking into account the millions of tons of electronic waste generated worldwide each year, the recyclability of our e-skin makes good economic and environmental sense.