Hierarchically patterned self-powered sensors for multifunctional tactile sensing

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Science Advances  19 Aug 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 34, eabb9083
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb9083


Flexible sensors are highly desirable for tactile sensing and wearable devices. Previous researches of smart elements have focused on flexible pressure or temperature sensors. However, realizing material identification remains a challenge. Here, we report a multifunctional sensor composed of hydrophobic films and graphene/polydimethylsiloxane sponges. By engineering and optimizing sponges, the fabricated sensor exhibits a high-pressure sensitivity of >15.22 per kilopascal, a fast response time of <74 millisecond, and a high stability over >3000 cycles. In the case of temperature stimulus, the sensor exhibits a temperature-sensing resolution of 1 kelvin via the thermoelectric effect. The sensor can generate output voltage signals after physical contact with different flat materials based on contact-induced electrification. The corresponding signals can be, in turn, used to infer material properties. This multifunctional sensor is excellent in its low cost and material identification, which provides a design concept for meeting the challenges in functional electronics.

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