Research ArticleMATERIALS SCIENCE

A breathable, biodegradable, antibacterial, and self-powered electronic skin based on all-nanofiber triboelectric nanogenerators

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Science Advances  26 Jun 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 26, eaba9624
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba9624

Abstract

Mimicking the comprehensive functions of human sensing via electronic skins (e-skins) is highly interesting for the development of human-machine interactions and artificial intelligences. Some e-skins with high sensitivity and stability were developed; however, little attention is paid to their comfortability, environmental friendliness, and antibacterial activity. Here, we report a breathable, biodegradable, and antibacterial e-skin based on all-nanofiber triboelectric nanogenerators, which is fabricated by sandwiching silver nanowire (Ag NW) between polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). With micro-to-nano hierarchical porous structure, the e-skin has high specific surface area for contact electrification and numerous capillary channels for thermal-moisture transfer. Through adjusting the concentration of Ag NW and the selection of PVA and PLGA, the antibacterial and biodegradable capability of e-skins can be tuned, respectively. Our e-skin can achieve real-time and self-powered monitoring of whole-body physiological signal and joint movement. This work provides a previously unexplored strategy for multifunctional e-skins with excellent practicability.

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