Mixed-dimensional MXene-hydrogel heterostructures for electronic skin sensors with ultrabroad working range

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Science Advances  27 Nov 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 48, eabb5367
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb5367


Skin-mountable microelectronics are garnering substantial interest for various promising applications including human-machine interfaces, biointegrated devices, and personalized medicine. However, it remains a critical challenge to develop e-skins to mimic the human somatosensory system in full working range. Here, we present a multifunctional e-skin system with a heterostructured configuration that couples vinyl-hybrid-silica nanoparticle (VSNP)–modified polyacrylamide (PAM) hydrogel with two-dimensional (2D) MXene through nano-bridging layers of polypyrrole nanowires (PpyNWs) at the interfaces, featuring high toughness and low hysteresis, in tandem with controlled crack generation and distribution. The multidimensional configurations endow the e-skin with an extraordinary working range (2800%), ultrafast responsiveness (90 ms) and resilience (240 ms), good linearity (800%), tunable sensing mechanisms, and excellent reproducibility. In parallel, this e-skin platform is capable of detecting, quantifying, and remotely monitoring stretching motions in multiple dimensions, tactile pressure, proximity sensing, and variations in temperature and light, establishing a promising platform for next-generation smart flexible electronics.

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