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Transparent Electronic Skin Device Based on Microstructured Silver Nanowire Electrode

1, 1, 1, 1, 2

Chinese Journal of Chemical Physics

AIP Publishing

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      Skin-like pressure and strain sensors based on transparent elastic films of carbon nanotubes.

      Transparent, elastic conductors are essential components of electronic and optoelectronic devices that facilitate human interaction and biofeedback, such as interactive electronics, implantable medical devices and robotic systems with human-like sensing capabilities. The availability of conducting thin films with these properties could lead to the development of skin-like sensors that stretch reversibly, sense pressure (not just touch), bend into hairpin turns, integrate with collapsible, stretchable and mechanically robust displays and solar cells, and also wrap around non-planar and biological surfaces such as skin and organs, without wrinkling. We report transparent, conducting spray-deposited films of single-walled carbon nanotubes that can be rendered stretchable by applying strain along each axis, and then releasing this strain. This process produces spring-like structures in the nanotubes that accommodate strains of up to 150% and demonstrate conductivities as high as 2,200 S cm(-1) in the stretched state. We also use the nanotube films as electrodes in arrays of transparent, stretchable capacitors, which behave as pressure and strain sensors.
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        Highly sensitive flexible pressure sensors with microstructured rubber dielectric layers.

        The development of an electronic skin is critical to the realization of artificial intelligence that comes into direct contact with humans, and to biomedical applications such as prosthetic skin. To mimic the tactile sensing properties of natural skin, large arrays of pixel pressure sensors on a flexible and stretchable substrate are required. We demonstrate flexible, capacitive pressure sensors with unprecedented sensitivity and very short response times that can be inexpensively fabricated over large areas by microstructuring of thin films of the biocompatible elastomer polydimethylsiloxane. The pressure sensitivity of the microstructured films far surpassed that exhibited by unstructured elastomeric films of similar thickness, and is tunable by using different microstructures. The microstructured films were integrated into organic field-effect transistors as the dielectric layer, forming a new type of active sensor device with similarly excellent sensitivity and response times.
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          A large-area, flexible pressure sensor matrix with organic field-effect transistors for artificial skin applications.

          It is now widely accepted that skin sensitivity will be very important for future robots used by humans in daily life for housekeeping and entertainment purposes. Despite this fact, relatively little progress has been made in the field of pressure recognition compared to the areas of sight and voice recognition, mainly because good artificial "electronic skin" with a large area and mechanical flexibility is not yet available. The fabrication of a sensitive skin consisting of thousands of pressure sensors would require a flexible switching matrix that cannot be realized with present silicon-based electronics. Organic field-effect transistors can substitute for such conventional electronics because organic circuits are inherently flexible and potentially ultralow in cost even for a large area. Thus, integration of organic transistors and rubber pressure sensors, both of which can be produced by low-cost processing technology such as large-area printing technology, will provide an ideal solution to realize a practical artificial skin, whose feasibility has been demonstrated in this paper. Pressure images have been taken by flexible active matrix drivers with organic transistors whose mobility reaches as high as 1.4 cm(2)/V.s. The device is electrically functional even when it is wrapped around a cylindrical bar with a 2-mm radius.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1]Nanjing Foreign Language School, Nanjing 210018, China
            [2]School of Electronic Science and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
            Journal
            Chinese Journal of Chemical Physics
            Chinese Journal of Chemical Physics
            AIP Publishing
            1674-0068
            2327-2244
            October 27 2017
            October 27 2017
            : 30
            : 5
            : 603-608
            10.1063/1674-0068/30/cjcp1706126
            © 2017

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