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Muscle-Inspired Capacitive Tactile Sensors with Superior Sensitivity in an Ultra-wide Stress Range

Abstract

Taking inspiration from skeletal muscle with highly oriented myofibers, we developed a tough wood aerogel/poly(ionic liquid) (WA/PIL) hydrogel directly from wood via delignification, impregnation and gelation for the formation of a tactile sensor of electric double-layer capacitive configuration. The WA/PIL hydrogels integrated the representative properties of both wood and ionic liquids, being promising candidate for both polyelectrolyte and separator materials. The influences of the wood texture and cross-linker (Bis) content on the mechanical and sensing performances of the hydrogels were investigated. The results showed the tangential hydrogel slice with a 1.0 mol% Bis content (tan 1.0) displayed a most significant improvement in compressive stress (1.65 MPa) and deformation (73.3%) at fracture, suggesting a best compressibility. Electrodes also played a significant role in the sensitivity and stability of the sensor devices. While tan 1.0 with reduced graphene oxide (rGO) electrodes displayed the largest sensitivities (1.13‒19.70 MPa-1), tan 1.0 with Ni foams possessed much more stable ionic signals within the whole stress range with sensitivities of 0.33‒9.67 MPa-1. Due to the wide-stress-range responsiveness of our hydrogel sensor from gentle finger contact to vigorous hitting modes, it will find promising applications in various human-machine interfaces in the fields of electronics, recreation, sports, etc.

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
26 Jan 2020
Accepted
16 Mar 2020
First published
17 Mar 2020

J. Mater. Chem. C, 2020, Accepted Manuscript
Article type
Paper

Muscle-Inspired Capacitive Tactile Sensors with Superior Sensitivity in an Ultra-wide Stress Range

X. Shen, K. Nie, L. Zheng, Z. Wang, Z. Wang, S. Li, C. Jin and Q. Sun, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2020, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/D0TC00453G

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