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Highly Sensitive Electronic Skins


Electronic skins (E-skins) with sensory capabilities mimicking human-skin or beyond are essential for wearable healthcare monitoring devices, robotic technologies, human-machine interface (HMI) and artificial intelligence (AI). The ability to rapidly detect small pressure variation represents an important function of E-skins. Here we report a new design of pressure-sensing E-skins by integrating a unique conductive microstructured air-gap (CMAG) gate with two-dimensional (2D) semiconductor transistors to achieve unprecedented combination of ultrahigh sensitivity, rapid response, low power consumption and long-term stability. We first show that the CMAG can be used to create the capacitor-based E-skins with a highest sensitivity up to 770.4 kPa-1 (vs. ~ 4.5 kPa-1 reported previously). By employing the CMAGs as pressure sensitive gate for 2D MoS2 transistors, we show that the pressure sensitivity can be further amplified to achieve a highest value of ~ 2.61 � 107 kPa-1 (vs. the previous record of 192 kPa-1). Along with ultrafast response (< 0.1 ms), lower power consumption (~ 9 pW−270 nW), low minimum pressure detection (< 0.05 Pa) and excellent stability, our device delivers an overall performance well above the existing pressure-sensing E-skins, enabling highly sensitive static pressure mapping, real-time human pulse wave measurements, E-skin microphone for speech pattern recognition, and remote pressure monitoring.

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