A flexible pressure sensor with high performances is one of the promising candidates for achieving electronic skins (E-skin) related to various applications such as wearable devices, health monitoring systems, and artificial robot arms. The sensitive response for external mechanical stimulation is fundamentally required to develop the E-skin which imitates the function of human skin. The performance of capacitive pressure sensors can be improved using morphologies and structures occurring in nature. In this work, highly sensitive capacitive pressure sensors based on a porous structure of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) thin film, inspired on the natural multilayered porous structures seen in mushrooms, diatoms, and spongia offilinalis, have been developed and evaluated. A bioinspired porous dielectric layer is used, resulting in high-performance pressure sensors with high sensitivity (0.63 kPa−1), high stability over 10 000 cycles, fast response and relaxation times, and extremely low-pressure detection of 2.42 Pa. Additionally, the resulting pressure sensors are demonstrated to fabricate multipixel arrays, thus achieving successful real-time tactile sensing of various touch shapes. The developed high-performance flexible pressure sensors may open new opportunities for innovative applications in advanced human-machine interface systems, robotic sensory systems, and various wearable health monitoring devices.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
S.K. and J.L. contributed equally to this work. This work was supported by the Priority Research Centers Program (Grant No. 2009–0093823) and (No. 2014R1A2A1A11053839) through the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) and the R&D program of MOTIE/KEIT [10064081, Development of fiber-based flexible multimodal pressure sensor and algorithm for gesture/posture-recognizable wearable devices]. The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the Ministry of Higher Education, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for supporting this research through a grant (PCSED-009–14) under the Promising Centre for Sensors and Electronic Devices (PCSED) at Najran University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Also, this work was supported by the Yonsei University Future-leading Research Initiative, Implantable artificial electronic skin for an ubiquitous healthcare system of 2016-12-0050 and Mid-career Researcher Program through NRF grant funded by the MEST (2014R1A2A2A09053061).
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials