Fingertip skin–inspired microstructured ferroelectric skins discriminate static/dynamic pressure and temperature stimuli

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Science Advances  30 Oct 2015:
Vol. 1, no. 9, e1500661
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500661


In human fingertips, the fingerprint patterns and interlocked epidermal-dermal microridges play a critical role in amplifying and transferring tactile signals to various mechanoreceptors, enabling spatiotemporal perception of various static and dynamic tactile signals. Inspired by the structure and functions of the human fingertip, we fabricated fingerprint-like patterns and interlocked microstructures in ferroelectric films, which can enhance the piezoelectric, pyroelectric, and piezoresistive sensing of static and dynamic mechanothermal signals. Our flexible and microstructured ferroelectric skins can detect and discriminate between multiple spatiotemporal tactile stimuli including static and dynamic pressure, vibration, and temperature with high sensitivities. As proof-of-concept demonstration, the sensors have been used for the simultaneous monitoring of pulse pressure and temperature of artery vessels, precise detection of acoustic sounds, and discrimination of various surface textures. Our microstructured ferroelectric skins may find applications in robotic skins, wearable sensors, and medical diagnostic devices.

  • Fingertip Skin
  • Ferroelectric Skin
  • Poly(vinylidene fluoride)
  • Graphene
  • Static and Dynamic Pressure Sensor
  • Temperature Sensor
  • Acoustic Sound Detection
  • Surface Texture Recognition

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