Fingerprint-Inspired Conducting Hierarchical Wrinkles for Energy-Harvesting E-Skin

Hyungseok Kang, Chunlin Zhao, Jinrong Huang, Dong Hae Ho, Yonas Tsegaye Megra, Ji Won Suk, Jia Sun, Zhong Lin Wang, Qijun Sun, Jeong Ho Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


In the field of bionics, sophisticated and multifunctional electronic skins with a mechanosensing function that are inspired by nature are developed. Here, an energy-harvesting electronic skin (energy-E-skin), i.e., a pressure sensor with energy-harvesting functions is demonstrated, based on fingerprint-inspired conducting hierarchical wrinkles. The conducting hierarchical wrinkles, fabricated via 2D stretching and subsequent Ar plasma treatment, are composed of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) wrinkles as the primary microstructure and embedded Ag nanowires (AgNWs) as the secondary nanostructure. The structure and resistance of the conducting hierarchical wrinkles are deterministically controlled by varying the stretching direction, Ar plasma power, and treatment time. This hierarchical-wrinkle-based conductor successfully harvests mechanical energy via contact electrification and electrostatic induction and also realizes self-powered pressure sensing. The energy-E-skin delivers an average output power of 3.5 mW with an open-circuit voltage of 300 V and a short-circuit current of 35 µA; this power is sufficient to drive commercial light-emitting diodes and portable electronic devices. The hierarchical-wrinkle-based conductor is also utilized as a self-powered tactile pressure sensor with a sensitivity of 1.187 mV Pa-1 in both contact-separation mode and the single-electrode mode. The proposed energy-E-skin has great potential for use as a next-generation multifunctional artificial skin, self-powered human–machine interface, wearable thin-film power source, and so on.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1903580
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
H.K. and C.Z. contributed equally to this work. This work was financially supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFA0202703), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51605034, 51711540300), and the “Hundred Talents Program” of the Chinese Academy of Science and State key laboratory of precision measuring technology and instruments (Tianjin University). J.H.C. was supported by a grant from the Center for Advanced Soft Electronics (CASE) under the Global Frontier Research Program (NRF-2013M3A6A5073177) and Construction Technology Research Project (Grant No. 18SCIP-B146646-01) funded by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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