4 years ago

A semitransparent snake-like tactile and olfactory bionic sensor with reversibly stretchable properties

Guofa Cai, Peng Cui, Jiangxin Wang, Kai Qian, Shaohui Li, Pooi See Lee, Mengqi Cui, Jingwei Chen, Meng-Fang Lin


Many organisms and animals have sensing abilities that are different from those of human beings; for example, snakes have strong smell-, vibration-, touch- and heat-sensing abilities. A nature-mimicking sensing platform capable of sensing multiple stimuli, such as strain, pressure, temperature and other uncorrelated conditions, is highly desirable to broaden the applications of sensors. Here, we construct a semitransparent intelligent skin-like sensing platform based on polyaniline (PANI) nanowire arrays that can act as a bionic component by simultaneously sensing tactile stimuli and detecting colorless, odorless gas. Our multifunctional bionic sensing strategy is remarkably adaptive for versatile applications. The strain-sensing performance is superior to that of most conducting polymer-based sensors reported so far and is comparable to or even better than traditional metal and carbon nanowire/nanotube-based strain sensors. The highest gauge factor demonstrated is 149, making our system a remarkable candidate for strain-sensing applications. The sensor can accurately detect a wide range of human motions. We also demonstrate the simultaneous controlled olfaction ability for the detection of methane with high sensitivity and a fast response time. These results enable the realization of multifunctional and uncorrelated sensing capabilities, which will afford a wide range of applications to augment robotics, treatment, simulated skin, health monitoring and bionic systems.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/am.2017.181

DOI: 10.1038/am.2017.181

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