Low-Hysteresis and Ultrasensitive Microcellular Structures for Wearable Electronic Applications

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ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces


Wearable technologies offer the opportunity to record human physiological signals in real time, in a noninvasive way, and the data can be used to aid in the early detection of abnormal health conditions. Here, we demonstrate how the interconnected porosity can be used to increase the sensitivity and linearity of capacitive pressure sensors. The finite element analysis supports the experimental observation that the movement of air during the dynamic mechanical loading is responsible for the high sensitivity observed (0.18 ± 0.01 kPa-1) when compared with the solid poly(glycerol sebacate) sensor (0.0042 ± 0.0002 kPa-1). The porous sensors present strain insensitivity and remarkable linearity over the entire range of applied mechanical pressure (0-6 kPa), capable of detecting both static and dynamic mechanical stimuli (17 nm/s), and a response time of 50 ms, without evidence of fatigue or electrical hysteresis over 10,000 mechanical cycles. The outstanding features of the porous sensors can find a broad range of applications in real-time health monitoring, from demanding movements like walking/running, to small deformations resulting from breathing or heart beating. The ultrasensitive microcellular structures synthesized in this study can be applied to other types of sensing transductions to obtain tunable and function-specific sensors with high sensitivity.

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Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, Australian Research Council



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