January 2020
Vol 6, Issue 4

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Scientists have recently made progress in developing flexible, imperceptible electronic sensors for artificial electronic skins (e-skins), which must be able to perceive physical interactions between their robot or human wearer and the objects they touch. However, few studies have explored advanced, flexible magnetic systems that combine individual magnetic sensors with other electronic devices. Kondo et al. demonstrated the first fully functional imperceptible magnetic sensor matrix system based on flexible organic thin-film transistor technology, the most seamless, complex, and high-functioning system of its kind to date. The system integrates a bootstrap matrix-driver circuit, which consumes three orders of magnitude less static power than traditional organic drivers, as well as a high-gain signal amplifier, switching transistors, and current-source amplifiers. The researchers demonstrated that the system is able to accurately map magnetic fields in two dimensions and can operate at low supply voltages (below 4 volts) and high frequencies (about 100 hertz). This technological development could help introduce a new generation of flexible electronics, which may be used in e-skins, soft robotics, and biomedicine. [CREDIT: TSUYOSHI SEKITANI, ISIR, OSAKA UNIVERSITY]