Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 19, 2021
Previous Article Next Article

Predicting human touch sensitivity to single atom substitutions in surface monolayers for molecular control in tactile interfaces

Author affiliations

Abstract

The mechanical stimuli generated as a finger interrogates the physical and chemical features of an object form the basis of fine touch. Haptic devices, which are used to control touch, primarily focus on recreating physical features, but the chemical aspects of fine touch may be harnessed to create richer tactile interfaces and reveal fundamental aspects of tactile perception. To connect tactile perception with molecular structure, we systematically varied silane-derived monolayers deposited onto surfaces smoother than the limits of human perception. Through mechanical friction testing and cross-correlation analysis, we made predictions of which pairs of silanes might be distinguishable by humans. We predicted, and demonstrated, that humans can distinguish between two isosteric silanes which differ only by a single nitrogen-for-carbon substitution. The mechanism of tactile contrast originates from a difference in monolayer ordering, as quantified by the Hurst exponent, which was replicated in two alkylsilanes with a three-carbon difference in length. This approach may be generalizable to other materials and lead to new tactile sensations derived from materials chemistry.

Graphical abstract: Predicting human touch sensitivity to single atom substitutions in surface monolayers for molecular control in tactile interfaces

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
24 Mar 2021
Accepted
24 Apr 2021
First published
27 Apr 2021

Soft Matter, 2021,17, 5050-5060
Article type
Paper

Predicting human touch sensitivity to single atom substitutions in surface monolayers for molecular control in tactile interfaces

A. Nolin, A. Licht, K. Pierson, C. Lo, L. V. Kayser and C. Dhong, Soft Matter, 2021, 17, 5050 DOI: 10.1039/D1SM00451D

To request permission to reproduce material from this article, please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

If you are an author contributing to an RSC publication, you do not need to request permission provided correct acknowledgement is given.

If you are the author of this article, you do not need to request permission to reproduce figures and diagrams provided correct acknowledgement is given. If you want to reproduce the whole article in a third-party publication (excluding your thesis/dissertation for which permission is not required) please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements