Highlights:
A class of materials that generate electricity when it undergoes a mechanical impact are called Piezoelectric crystals.
• Scientists have developed piezoelectric molecules called bipyrazole organic crystals.
• Bipyrazole organic crystals recombine mechanical fracture without any external intervention, autonomously self-healing in milliseconds with crystallographic precision.

Scientists recently developed materials that make it possible for them to use the electrical charges generated by the mechanical impact and allows them to repair their own mechanical compound. It makes it easier for damaged electronic compounds, such as in spacecraft, to mend themselves.

The researchers from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) teamed up with IIT Kharagpur and have developed piezoelectric molecular crystals that repair themselves from mechanical damages without the need for any external intervention. A class of materials that generate electricity when it undergoes a mechanical impact are called Piezoelectric crystals.

Scientists have developed piezoelectric molecules called bipyrazole organic crystals. They recombine mechanical fracture without any external intervention, autonomously self-healing in milliseconds with crystallographic precision.

These molecular solids have the unique property of generating electrical charges on mechanical impact, the broken pieces acquire electrical charges at the crack junction, leading to attraction by damaged parts and precise autonomous repair.

This research has been published in the journal ‘Science’ recently. It was developed by the IISER Kolkata team led by Prof. C Malla Reddy, a recipient of the Swarnajayanti fellowship (2015), GoI. Prof. Nirmalya Ghosh of IISER Kolkata, a laureate of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).

In this method, a custom-designed state-of-the-art polarization microscopic system to probe and quantify the perfection of the piezoelectric organic crystals is used. The materials have an internal arrangement of molecules or ions and are called ‘crystals’. These crystals are abundant in nature.

Development of smart gadgets that self-repair cracks or scratches may be possible by further research into such materials.

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