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Issue 6, 2014
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Flexible nanocomposites with all-optical tactile sensing capability

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Plasmonic resonators have generated much interest in recent years due to their ability to localize optical energy into thin continuous metallic regions. We present the integration of such resonators into flexible polydimethylsiloxane–gold nanocomposite materials that couple light efficiently, in order to prepare a totally optical layout for tactile sensors, able to detect low applied pressure forces. The development of plasmonic nanostructured resonators of thin gold layers onto polydimethylsiloxane is achieved using light texturing. In particular, this technique creates uniform patterns of gold nanoparticles forming quasi continuous gold thin layers behaving as plasmonic resonators. The excitation of the resonators and the detection of the signal after the application of the pressure are done through optical fibers avoiding electrical connections or circuits embedded into the elastomer. The proposed totally optical tactile sensor is easily processable and ideal for upscaling oriented towards humanoid robotics and biocompatible elastomeric human interface skin prostheses.

Graphical abstract: Flexible nanocomposites with all-optical tactile sensing capability

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Oct 2013, accepted on 22 Nov 2013 and first published on 11 Dec 2013

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3RA45678A
RSC Adv., 2014,4, 2820-2825

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    Flexible nanocomposites with all-optical tactile sensing capability

    A. Massaro, F. Spano, M. Missori, M. A. Malvindi, P. Cazzato, R. Cingolani and A. Athanassiou, RSC Adv., 2014, 4, 2820
    DOI: 10.1039/C3RA45678A

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