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A Flexible Piezoelectret Actuator/Sensor Patch for Mechanical Human–Machine Interfaces

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posted on 02.06.2019, 00:00 by Junwen Zhong, Yuan Ma, Yu Song, Qize Zhong, Yao Chu, Ilbey Karakurt, David B. Bogy, Liwei Lin
Flexible and wearable devices with the capabilities of both detecting and generating mechanical stimulations are critical for applications in human–machine interfaces, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Herein, a flexible patch based on a sandwiched piezoelectret structure is demonstrated to have a high equivalent piezoelectric coefficient of d33 at 4050 pC/N to selectively perform either the actuating or sensing function. As an actuator, mechanical vibrations with a peak output force of more than 20 mN have been produced, similar to those from the vibration mode of a modern cell phone, and can be easily sensed by human skin. As a sensor, both the pressure detection limit of 1.84 Pa for sensing resolution and excellent stability of less than 1% variations in 6000 cycles have been achieved. The design principle together with the sensing and driving characteristics can be further developed and extended to other soft matters and flexible devices.