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Highly Ordered 3D Microstructure-Based Electronic Skin Capable of Differentiating Pressure, Temperature, and Proximity

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posted on 2018-12-19, 00:00 authored by Jin-Oh Kim, Se Young Kwon, Youngsoo Kim, Han Byul Choi, Jun Chang Yang, Jinwon Oh, Hyeon Seok Lee, Joo Yong Sim, Seunghwa Ryu, Steve Park
Electronic skin are devices that mimic the functionalities of human skin, which require high sensitivity, large dynamic range, high spatial uniformity, low-cost and large-area processability, and the capacity to differentiate various external inputs. We herein introduce a versatile droplet-based microfluidic-assisted emulsion self-assembly process to generate three-dimensional microstructure-based high-performance capacitive and piezoresistive pressure sensors for electronic skin applications. Our technique can generate uniformly sized micropores that are self-assembled in an orderly close-packed manner over a large area, which results in high spatial uniformity. The size of the micropores can easily be tuned from 100 to 500 μm, through which sensitivity and dynamic range were controlled as high as 0.86 kPa–1 and up to 100 kPa. Our device can be printed on curvilinear surfaces and be molded into various shapes. We furthermore demonstrate that by simultaneously utilizing capacitive and piezoresistive pressure sensors, we can distinguish between pressure and temperature, or between pressure and proximity. These demonstrations make our process and sensors highly useful for a wide variety of electronic skin applications.

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