The development of a highly sensitive artificial mechanotransducer that mimics the tactile sensing features of human skin has been a big challenge in electronic skin research. Here, we demonstrate an ultrasensitive, low-power oxide transistor-based mechanotransducer modulated by microstructured, deformable ionic dielectrics, which is consistently sensitive to a wide range of pressures from 1 to 50 kPa. To this end, we designed a viscoporoelastic and ionic thermoplastic polyurethane (i-TPU) with micropyramidal feature as a pressure-sensitive gate dielectric for the indium-gallium-zinc-oxide (IGZO) transistor-based mechanotransducer, which leads to an unprecedented sensitivity of 43.6 kPa-1, which is 23 times higher than that of a capacitive mechanotransducer. This is because the pressure-induced ion accumulation at the interface of the i-TPU dielectric and IGZO semiconductor effectively modulates the conducting channel, which contributed to the enhanced current level under pressure. We believe that the ionic transistor-type mechanotransducer suggested by us will be an effective way to perceive external tactile stimuli over a wide pressure range even under low power (<4 V), which might be one of the candidates to directly emulate the tactile sensing capability of human skin.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)