Transparent and conductive nanomembranes with orthogonal silver nanowire arrays for skin-attachable loudspeakers and microphones

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Science Advances  03 Aug 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 8, eaas8772
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aas8772


We demonstrate ultrathin, transparent, and conductive hybrid nanomembranes (NMs) with nanoscale thickness, consisting of an orthogonal silver nanowire array embedded in a polymer matrix. Hybrid NMs significantly enhance the electrical and mechanical properties of ultrathin polymer NMs, which can be intimately attached to human skin. As a proof of concept, we present a skin-attachable NM loudspeaker, which exhibits a significant enhancement in thermoacoustic capabilities without any significant heat loss from the substrate. We also present a wearable transparent NM microphone combined with a micropyramid-patterned polydimethylsiloxane film, which provides excellent acoustic sensing capabilities based on a triboelectric voltage signal. Furthermore, the NM microphone can be used to provide a user interface for a personal voice-based security system in that it can accurately recognize a user’s voice. This study addressed the NM-based conformal electronics required for acoustic device platforms, which could be further expanded for application to conformal wearable sensors and health care devices.

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