Research ArticleMATERIALS SCIENCE

Air/water interfacial assembled rubbery semiconducting nanofilm for fully rubbery integrated electronics

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Science Advances  16 Sep 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 38, eabb3656
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb3656
  • Fig. 1 The fabrication and characterization of the assembled freestanding pristine P3HT nanofilm.

    (A) Chemical structure of P3HT and schematic illustration of the formation process of the polymer nanofilm on the water surface. (B) Photographs of the pristine P3HT nanofilm formed on the water surface. (C) Assembled freestanding pristine P3HT nanofilm deposited on a PDMS substrate, in bent and twisted states. (D) Large-area fabrication demonstrated by a roll-to-roll process. (E) Optical image of the pristine P3HT film deposited on a Si substrate. (F) XRD pattern of the assembled freestanding pristine P3HT nanofilm and spin-coated film. a.u., arbitrary units. (G) Representative transfer curve of the assembled freestanding pristine P3HT nanofilm–based transistor. (H) Mobility values of the assembled freestanding pristine P3HT nanofilm and spin-coated film. Photo credit: Ying-Shi Guan, University of Houston.

  • Fig. 2 The assembled freestanding composite nanofilm with different percentages of P3HT.

    (A to E) Optical images of the composite nanofilm with different percentages of P3HT at 0% (top frames) and 50% strain (bottom frames). (F) Representative transfer curve of the composite nanofilm with different percentages of P3HT. (G) Mobility values of the composite nanofilm–based transistor with different percentages of P3HT. (H and I) Optical images of the top and bottom surfaces of the 65 wt % P3HT composite nanofilm located in the same position, respectively. (J) Optical image of the 65 wt % P3HT composite nanofilm after washing off the SEBS part. (K) AFM image of the P3HT-rich phase. (L) AFM image of the 65 wt % P3HT composite nanofilm marked by the composition of the two separated phases. (M) Photograph of the 65 wt % P3HT composite nanofilm deposited on a rubbery substrate, showing its high stretchability.

  • Fig. 3 Rubbery transistor under mechanical strain.

    (A and B) Representative transfer curves of the intrinsically stretchable transistors under mechanical strains of 0, 10, 30, 50, and 0% (released) along (A) and perpendicular (B) to the channel length direction. (C) Changes of the mobility during stretching to 50% strain along and perpendicular to the channel length direction. (D) Changes of the mobility after stretch-release cycles at 30% strain along and perpendicular to the channel length direction. (E) Photograph of the transistor array. (F) Mobility distribution in the transistor array. Photo credit: Ying-Shi Guan, University of Houston.

  • Fig. 4 Rubbery logic gates based on the freestanding composite nanofilm.

    (A to C) Schematic illustration and a circuit diagram of the stretchable inverter, NAND gate, and NOR gate. (D) Photograph of the rubbery inverter, NAND gate, and NOR gate. (E) Representative VTC of the rubbery inverter. (F and G) VTC of the rubbery inverter under different strains (0, 10, 30, 50, and 0% released) along (F) and perpendicular (G) to the channel length direction. (H and I) Changes of the VTC after stretch-release cycles at 30% strain along and perpendicular to the channel length direction. (J to L) Output characteristics of the rubbery NAND gate under Vdd of 1 V under mechanical strains of 0% (J) and 50% along (K) and perpendicular (L) to the channel length direction. (M to O) Output characteristics of the rubbery NOR gate under Vdd of 1 V under mechanical strains of 0% (M) and 50% along (N) and perpendicular (O) to the channel length direction.

  • Fig. 5 Fully rubbery smart skin.

    (A) The rubbery smart skin adheres and conforms to the back of the human hand. The left inset shows the circuit diagram of the smart skin. (B) Schematic illustration of the smart skin. (C) Device under stretching and twisting deformations. (D) Device under poking deformation. (E) Transfer curve with/without pressing (circuit diagram for measurement is present in fig. S23). (F) Output voltage with/without pressing (circuit diagram for measurement is fig. S24). (G) Optical image of the smart skin pressed at two points. (H) Output voltage mapping for (G). (I) Optical image of the smart skin pressed in a line. (J) Output voltage mapping for (I). Photo credit: Ying-Shi Guan, University of Houston.

  • Fig. 6 A medical robotic hand equipped with rubbery E-skin.

    (A) Optical image of the medical robotic hand. (B) Robotic hand with E-skin touching a human forearm to measure the skin temperature. (C) Measured human skin temperature. (D) Optical image of the robotic hand with E-skin, contacting human muscles for electrical stimulation. (E) Human skin impedance measurement at different frequencies. Inset: Schematic diagram of the electrode. (F) Low-voltage electrical stimulation current peaks using the multiplexed electrical stimulators (signal from one pixel). (G) EMG measurement circuit using the rubbery transistor as a multiplexing switch. (H) Robotic hand with E-skin touching the lower limb for EMG measurement. (I) EMG signal from the posterior of the lower limb. Photo credit: Ying-Shi Guan, University of Houston.

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    Air/water interfacial assembled rubbery semiconducting nanofilm for fully rubbery integrated electronics

    Ying-Shi Guan, Anish Thukral, Shun Zhang, Kyoseung Sim, Xu Wang, Yongcao Zhang, Faheem Ershad, Zhoulyu Rao, Fengjiao Pan, Peng Wang, Jianliang Xiao, Cunjiang Yu

    Download Supplement

    This PDF file includes:

    • Characteristics of the FETs
    • Calculation of the β and α values of the transistor-based temperature sensor
    • Finite element analysis (FEA)
    • Circuit architecture designs of the rubbery inverters, NAND, and NOR
    • Data acquisition of the active matrix rubbery tactile sensing skin
    • Table S1
    • Figs. S1 to S29

    Files in this Data Supplement:

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