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Bio-photocapacitive tactile sensors as a touch-to-audio braille reader and solar capacitor

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Abstract

Human–machine interfaces in emerging smart-skin technologies tend to be focussed towards high-sensitivity tactile sensing primarily with visual/numerical feedback, and research on e-skin technologies for the visually impaired is sparse. Here we demonstrate a proof-of-concept six-pixel tactile sensor that converts touch stimuli based on braille codes into an auditory output, and which could potentially be miniaturized as an ‘energy-autonomous on-skin e-braille reader’ for the visually impaired. By applying the concepts of electric double layer capacitance and bio-photo capacitance, a self-powered sensor is constructed that generates electrical signals as large as 2 V by modulating a bio-electrochemical liquid bridge between electrodes of opposite wetting characteristics. The liquid bridge, composed of photosynthetic pigment–proteins with a redox electrolyte, both augments the sensory response and serves as a standalone solar-capacitor that can generate a photocurrent as high as 140 μA cm−2, and which displays a long discharge time of ∼20 min with just ∼3 min of photo charging.

Graphical abstract: Bio-photocapacitive tactile sensors as a touch-to-audio braille reader and solar capacitor

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Nov 2019, accepted on 25 Nov 2019 and first published on 25 Nov 2019


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C9MH01798D
Mater. Horiz., 2020, Advance Article

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    Bio-photocapacitive tactile sensors as a touch-to-audio braille reader and solar capacitor

    S. K. Ravi, N. Paul, L. Suresh, A. T. Salim, T. Wu, Z. Wu, M. R. Jones and S. C. Tan, Mater. Horiz., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9MH01798D

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