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Issue 16, 2018
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Highly sensitive flexible three-axis tactile sensors based on the interface contact resistance of microstructured graphene

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Abstract

The lack of high-performance tactile sensors, especially for pressure/force, is a huge obstacle for the widespread application of intelligent robots. Current pressure sensors are often operated in the high range of pressure and normal direction, showing a little ability in the low range of pressure and three-axis direction simultaneously. Herein, a highly sensitive flexible tactile sensor with three-axis force sensing capacity is presented by combining microstructured polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) arrays and a reduced graphene oxide (rGO) film. The deformation of microstructured rGO/PDMS results in a change in the contact area between the rGO film and electrode, leading to a high sensitivity of −1.71 kPa−1 in the low range pressure of 0–225 Pa with a fast response time of 6 ms at a large feature size of 100 μm. To realize three-axis sensing, a sensing unit was built up, which was composed of the adjacent four parts of patterns and electrodes underneath a bump. A mechanical model of the exerted spatial force was established to calculate each axis force component via the deformation of the rGO/PDMS pattern. The experimental results show that the current difference between the adjacent two parts has a strong relationship with the applied force. As a proof of concept, we have demonstrated a 3 × 3 array sensor for arbitrary force sensing. Our tactile sensor would be used in transmitting information from a gentle spatial force and would exhibit broad applications as e-skin in integrated robots.

Graphical abstract: Highly sensitive flexible three-axis tactile sensors based on the interface contact resistance of microstructured graphene

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Dec 2017, accepted on 15 Mar 2018 and first published on 16 Mar 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR09149D
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018,10, 7387-7395
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    Highly sensitive flexible three-axis tactile sensors based on the interface contact resistance of microstructured graphene

    J. Zhang, L. J. Zhou, H. M. Zhang, Z. X. Zhao, S. L. Dong, S. Wei, J. Zhao, Z. L. Wang, B. Guo and P. A. Hu, Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 7387
    DOI: 10.1039/C7NR09149D

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