Transparent and Self-Powered Multistage Sensation Matrix for Mechanosensation Application

Qian Zhang, Tao Jiang, Donghae Ho, Shanshan Qin, Xixi Yang, Jeong Ho Cho, Qijun Sun, Zhong Lin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Electronic skin based on a multimodal sensing array is ready to detect various stimuli in different categories by utilizing highly sensitive materials, sophisticated geometry designs, and integration of multifunctional sensors. However, it is still difficult to distinguish multiple and complex mechanical stimuli in a local position by conventional multimodal E-skin, which is significantly important in the signals' feedback of robotic fine motions and human-machine interactions. Here, we present a transparent, flexible, and self-powered multistage sensation matrix based on piezoelectric nanogenerators constructed in a crossbar design. Each sensor cell in the matrix comprises a layer of piezoelectric polymer sandwiched between two graphene electrodes. The simple lamination design allows sequential multistage sensation in one sensing cell, including compressive/tensile strain and detaching/releasing area. Further structure engineering on PDMS substrate allows the sensor cell to be highly sensitive to the applied pressures, representing the minimum sensing pressure below 800 Pa. As the basic combinations of compressive/tensile strains or detaching/releasing represent individual output signals, the proposed multistage sensors are capable of decoding to distinguish external complex motions. The proposed self-powering multistage sensation matrix can be used universally as an autonomous invisible sensory system to detect complex motions of the human body in local position, which has promising potential in movement monitoring, human-computer interaction, humanoid robots, and E-skins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-262
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 23

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFA0202703, 2016YFA0202704), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51605034, 51711540300), the “Hundred Talents Program” of the Chinese Academy of Science, and the “Thousand Talents” program of China for pioneering researchers and innovative teams. Prof. J. H. Cho was supported by a grant from the Center for Advanced Soft Electronics (CASE) under the Global Frontier Research Program (2013M3A6A5073177).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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