|Posted: Jun 02, 2017|
Self-healing, highly sensitive nanostructured electronic sensors(Nanowerk News) Researchers in China propose a facile and effective strategy for the preparation of self-healing and highly sensitive strain sensors based on metal-ligand coordination and hierarchical structure design for diverse human activity monitoring.
|The team reported their findings in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces ("Self-Healing, Highly Sensitive Electronic Sensors Enabled by Metal-Ligand Coordination and Hierarchical Structure Design").|
|First, they developed a stretchable and autonomously self-healing elastomer cross-linked by metal-ligand coordination bonds. The as-prepared elastomer exhibited desirable self-healing ability in various harsh conditions.|
|Then, on the basis of this self-healing material, the researchers constructed electronic sensors with a hierarchical structure by assembling a self-healing substrate and a nanostructured conductive layer.|
|The fabricated sensors showed eminent electrical self-healing capacity, high sensitivity, and good stability, which could be used to capture both subtle physiological signals and large-scale body motions after the cutting/healing process.|
|Representative current signals and pictures (inset) of self-healed sensors during detecting finger bending (a), finger touching (b), neck bending (c), and neck shaking (d). (© ACS) (click on image to enlarge)|
|The team evaluated the capability of their sensors in several ways: One was in speech recognition via monitoring the motions of the vocal muscle. When the tester pronounced “hi”, “hello”, and “how are you”, current signals of a self-healed sensor were recorded in real-time.|
|Another was in capturing subtle physiological activities, where the insulating side of a self-healed sensor was directly attached to the neck to monitor the muscle motions near the throat. When the tester coughed and swallowed, current changes of the self-healed sensor were recorded in real-time using an electrical analyzer.|
|The authors point out that, even after suffering harsh treatments – repeated bending and washing – the self-healed sensors could still detect tiny human activities.|
|These remarkable properties enable the prepared sensors to be promising in manufacturing smart electronic devices, such as wearable devices, electronic skin, and healthcare equipment.|
|By Michael Berger – Michael is author of two books by the Royal Society of Chemistry: Nano-Society: Pushing the Boundaries of Technology and Nanotechnology: The Future is Tiny.|
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