Self‐Healing Photochromic Elastomer Composites for Wearable UV‐Sensors
© AzmanL/E+/Getty Images
A tough, wearable sensor that turns deep blue on exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light could protect users from harmful UV exposure.
UV light can damage the eyes, prematurely age the skin, and potentially cause cancer. To date, most UV-exposure sensors have been rigid and fragile electronic devices, making them ill-suited to wearable applications.
Now, a team led by Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (VISTEC) researchers in Thailand has developed a robust, waterproof, electronics-free UV sensor by harnessing the colour-changing photochromic effect.
The team combined phosphomolybdic acid (PMA) with a polyurethane (PUSH) polymer featuring dynamic disulfide bonds, to create a stretchy, self-healing material that could be worn on the wrist, clothing or skin.
When exposed to UV light, the PUSH polymer donates electrons to PMA, which changes from colourless to blue as UV exposure limits are reached.
- Advanced Functional Materials 33, 2213717 (2023). doi: 10.1002/adfm.202213717
|Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (VISTEC), Thailand||0.56|
|University of Michigan (U-M), United States of America (USA)||0.44|