Transparent and stretchable self-actuated tactile sensor prepared by Nano Energy of Chinese Academy of Sciences

[China Instrument Network Instrument R&D] With the development of artificial intelligence technology, various kinds of stretchable electronic devices, wearable electronic devices, and electronic skin and other revolutionary functional products that emulate human characteristics have emerged, causing great concern for researchers. They can be as soft and elastic as human skin or tissue, and they are tightly integrated with the human body in an unprecedented way, enabling many functions that cannot be realized now or even can't be imagined. At the same time, we can further improve human health and quality of life, and bring great convenience to our lives. Therefore, people believe that these products will have new applications and breakthroughs in the fields of human-computer interaction, electronic skin, and health care.

At present, many studies have been made on transparent stretchable conductors and electronic devices, including using a certain geometry, using intrinsic stretchable conductors, and using elastomeric composites to improve the device's stretchability. However, there are still some challenges in preparing large scale integrated, transparent and stretchable tactile sensors. Recently, the Pan Caofeng research team of the Beijing Institute of Nano Energy and Systems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, developed a transparent and extendable tactile sensor (TETS) based on the principle of friction nano-generators. The device combines high transparency, high pressure sensitivity, stretchability, and multi-touch operation, and can simultaneously achieve biomechanical energy collection, tactile perception and other functions, providing a new perspective for the preparation of transparent stretchable tactile sensors. Posted on Advanced Materials.
The researchers used electrospinning technology to prepare large-area PVA nanofiber films, followed by Ag nanofibers, which have excellent electrical conductivity and light transmission (1.68-11.1 Ω sq-1, light transmittance greater than 70%). Through the device design, as well as micro-processing and wet etching process, to obtain a high transparency, high pressure sensitivity, stretchable touch sensor. The method is simple to operate, low in cost, and easy to prepare on a large scale. The researchers explored the tensile properties of Ag nanofibers with different orientations on the device and explained the charge transfer mechanism of the device under tension. Experimentally, it was found that randomly prepared Ag nanofibers prepared therefrom had only 10% resistance change at 100% stretch and could detect pressures as low as 4.4 Pa and had a response time of about 70 ms. In addition, by adopting an optimized cross array structure, its 8×8 array tactile sensor can realize real-time trajectory detection of irregular planes. This kind of device has a broad market prospect and has potential application value in human-computer interaction, self-driven robots, flexible display screens and wearable electronic devices.
(Title: Transparent, Stretchable Self-Driven Tactile Sensor Made by Nano Energy)

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