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Posted: Jun 07, 2017
Carbon nanotube electronic skins for motion detection
(Nanowerk News) Researchers in China have developed piezoresistive electronic skins (E-skins) based on a composite of polymer and arrays of aligned few-walled carbon nanotubes (AFWCNTs, with diameter of 3-5 nm) that, enabled by the aligned carbon nanotubes, exhibited multiple advantages, such as simple device structure, high precision, fast response, excellent stability, and low power consumption.
Piezoresistive E-skins consisting of composite elastomers have received a great amount of attention due to their inherent flexibility, precision, chemical stability, and their simple, scalable, and cost-effective fabrication processes
It is expected that these novel devices with anisotropic sensing capabilities could be a promising candidate for applications in future bionic robots and wearable smart detectors.
What the researchers demonstrated in this work is that the AFWCNTs can serve as efficient anisotropic conductive fillers better than randomly dispersed CNTs in flexible composites for the fabrication of high-performance E-skins.
In their paper, the authors point out that the as-prepared semitransparent flexion-sensitive E-skin possesses many advantages, including high fatigue durability, high precision, low power consumption (<10 µW), and simple fabrication process.
In addition to flexion-sensitive E-skin, the polymer/AFWCNT composites can also be applied for constructing tensile-sensitive E-skins for the detection of stretching with large extension ratios.