Biology photo

Researchers at Washington State University have created materials that react to temperature and ultraviolet light. It’s a look into what mass-produced smart materials could be.

Smart materials are a growing area of interest for researchers, with potential for instantly forming casts and self-healing phone screens. But this is the first time memory, light-activated movement, and self-healing have been combined. One of the reasons smart materials aren’t widespread yet is their single-use capability. This breakthrough could mean a more useful material.

The material reacts to light, can move and fold when triggered by warmth or UV rays, and could be programmed to carry out specific tasks.