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A Wearable Skinlike Ultra-Sensitive Artificial Graphene Throat

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posted on 03.07.2019, 00:00 by Yuhong Wei, Yancong Qiao, Guangya Jiang, Yunfan Wang, Fangwei Wang, Mingrui Li, Yunfei Zhao, Ye Tian, Guangyang Gou, Songyao Tan, He Tian, Yi Yang, Tian-Ling Ren
Most mute people cannot speak due to their vocal cord lesion. Herein, to assist mute people to “speak”, we proposed a wearable skinlike ultrasensitive artificial graphene throat (WAGT) that integrated both sound/motion detection and sound emission in single device. In this work, the growth and patterning of graphene can be realized at the same time, and a thin poly­(vinyl alcohol) film with laser-scribed graphene was obtained by a water-assisted transferring process. In virtue of the skinlike and low-resistant substrate, the WAGT has a high detection sensitivity (relative resistance changes up to 150% at 133 Ω) and an excellent sound-emitting ability (up to 75 dB at 0.38 W power and 2 mm distance). On the basis of the excellent mechanical-electrical performance of graphene structure, the sound detecting and emitting mechanisms of WAGT are realized and discussed. For sound detection, both the motion of larynx and vibration of vocal cord contribute to throat movements. For sound emission, a thermal acoustic model for WAGT was established to reveal the principle of sound emitting. More importantly, a homemade circuit board was fabricated to build a dual-mode system, combining the detection and emitting systems. Meanwhile, different human motions, such as strong and small throat movements, were also detected and transformed into different sounds like “OK” and “NO”. Therefore, the implementation of these sound/motion detection acoustic systems enable graphene to achieve device-level applications to system-level applications, and those graphene acoustic systems are wearable for its miniaturization and light weight.