What is it about?
We combine the mesh-molded pressure-sensing microstructures with the printed side-by-side electrodes to fabricate large-area compliant and high-performance pressure sensors. The flexible pressure sensors reported here exhibit high sensitivity (20.9 kPa-1), low detection limit (7.4 Pa), ultra-broad working range (7.4~1,000,000 Pa), fast response/recovery (23/18 ms), good reliability (over 10,000 cycles), excellent tunability, and great advantage in format miniaturization (4 mm×2 mm) and creating sensor arrays with self-defined patterns. The performance of our pressure sensors provides a solid platform for monitoring a wide range of human activities as well as resolving spatial distribution and magnitude of external pressure as an electronic skin (e-skin). Moreover, we demonstrate a smart insole with a high level of integration for both foot pressure and temperature mapping, which is promising for foot ulcer prevention/detection, medical diagnostics, and sports applications.
Photo by Nick Jio on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Flexible pressure sensors with high sensitivity, broad working range and good scalability are highly desired for the next-generation of wearable electronic devices. However, manufacturing of such pressure sensors still remains challenging. Here, we present a large-area compliant and cost-effective process to fabricate high-performance pressure sensors via the combination of mesh-molded periodic microstructures and printed side-by-side electrodes. The fabricated pressure sensors exhibit low operating voltage (1 V), high sensitivity (20.9 kPa-1), low detection limit (7.4 Pa), fast response/recovery time (23/18 ms), and excellent reliability (over 10,000 cycles). More importantly, the sensors show broad working range (7.4~1,000,000 Pa), high tunability, large-scale production feasibility, and significant advantage in format miniaturization and creating sensor arrays with self-defined patterns. The versatility of our devices is demonstrated in various human activity monitoring and spatial pressure mapping as electronic skins. Furthermore, utilizing printing methods, we demonstrate a flexible smart insole with a high level of integration for both foot pressure and temperature mapping.
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This page is a summary of: Large‐Area Fabrication of High‐Performance Flexible and Wearable Pressure Sensors, Advanced Electronic Materials, January 2020, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/aelm.201901310.
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Large‐Area Fabrication of High‐Performance Flexible and Wearable Pressure Sensors
Large‐area fabrication of high‐performance wearable pressure sensors is realized by combining mesh‐molded periodic microstructures and printed side‐by‐side electrodes. The fabricated pressure sensors exhibit high sensitivity, ultra‐broad working range, miniaturized format, and capability to create sensor arrays with self‐defined patterns. The potential applications of these pressure sensors are demonstrated through the fabrication of diverse wearable smart devices and human–machine interfaces.
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