Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Paper-thin e-skin responds to touch, holds promise for sensory robotics and interactive environments

In this artistic illustration of an interactive e-skin device, the intensity of the emitted light corresponds to how hard the surface is pressed.Illustration by Ali Javey and Chuan Wang
In this artistic illustration of an interactive e-skin device, the intensity of the emitted light corresponds to how hard the surface is pressed.

Illustration by Ali Javey and Chuan Wang

Abstract:
A new milestone by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, can help robots become more touchy-feely, literally.



This video shows the interactive e-skin in action. (Video by Ali Javey and Chuan Wang)

Paper-thin e-skin responds to touch, holds promise for sensory robotics and interactive environments

Berkeley, CA | Posted on July 21st, 2013

A research team led by Ali Javey, UC Berkeley associate professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, has created the first user-interactive sensor network on flexible plastic. The new electronic skin, or e-skin, responds to touch by instantly lighting up. The more intense the pressure, the brighter the light it emits.



"We are not just making devices; we are building systems," said Javey, who also has an appointment as a faculty scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "With the interactive e-skin, we have demonstrated an elegant system on plastic that can be wrapped around different objects to enable a new form of human-machine interfacing."



This latest e-skin, described in a paper to be published online this Sunday, July 21, in the journal Nature Materials, builds on Javey's earlier work using semiconductor nanowire transistors layered on top of thin rubber sheets.



In addition to giving robots a finer sense of touch, the engineers believe the new e-skin technology could also be used to create things like wallpapers that double as touchscreen displays and dashboard laminates that allow drivers to adjust electronic controls with the wave of a hand.



"I could also imagine an e-skin bandage applied to an arm as a health monitor that continuously checks blood pressure and pulse rates," said study co-lead author Chuan Wang, who conducted the work as a post-doctoral researcher in Javey's lab at UC Berkeley.



The experimental samples of the latest e-skin measure 16-by-16 pixels. Within each pixel sits a transistor, an organic LED and a pressure sensor.



"Integrating sensors into a network is not new, but converting the data obtained into something interactive is the breakthrough," said Wang, who is now an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan State University. "And unlike the stiff touchscreens on iPhones, computer monitors and ATMs, the e-skin is flexible and can be easily laminated on any surface."



To create the pliable e-skin, the engineers cured a thin layer of polymer on top of a silicon wafer. Once the plastic hardened, they could run the material through fabrication tools already in use in the semiconductor industry to layer on the electronic components. After the electronics were stacked, they simply peeled off the plastic from the silicon base, leaving a freestanding film with a sensor network embedded in it.



"The electronic components are all vertically integrated, which is a fairly sophisticated system to put onto a relatively cheap piece of plastic," said Javey. "What makes this technology potentially easy to commercialize is that the process meshes well with existing semiconductor machinery."



Javey's lab is now in the process of engineering the e-skin sensors to respond to temperature and light as well as pressure.



UC Berkeley co-authors on this study are David Hwang, Zhibin Yu and Kuniharu Takei, all of whom have joint appointments at the Berkeley Lab. Additional study co-authors are Junwoo Park, Teresa Chen and Biwu Ma from the Berkeley Lab.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Department of Energy helped support this research.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Sarah Yang
Media Relations

(510) 643-7741

Ali Javey

(510) 643-7263

Chuan Wang

(517) 432-4309

Copyright © University of California, Berkeley

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Engineers make artificial skin out of nanowires (UC Berkeley press release)

Related News Press

News and information

Searching for errors in the quantum world September 21st, 2018

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Nanobiotix: Update on Head and Neck Phase I/II Trial with NBTXR3 and Other program data presented at ImmunoRad 2018 September 20th, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Researchers develop microbubble scrubber to destroy dangerous biofilms September 19th, 2018

Researchers managed to prevent the disappearing of quantum information September 14th, 2018

New photonic chip promises more robust quantum computers September 14th, 2018

Sensors

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Leti Announces EU Project to Develop Powerful, Inexpensive Sensors with Photonic Integrated Circuits: REDFINCH Members Initially Targeting Applications for Gas Detection and Analysis For Refineries & Petrochemical Industry and Protein Analysis for Dairy Industry September 19th, 2018

Rice U. lab probes molecular limit of plasmonics: Optical effect detailed in organic molecules with fewer than 50 atoms September 5th, 2018

Measuring the nanoworld September 4th, 2018

Discoveries

Searching for errors in the quantum world September 21st, 2018

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

NUS researchers invent new test kit for quick, accurate and low-cost screening of diseases: Test results are denoted by a color change and could be further analyzed by a smartphone app, making it attractive as a point-of-care diagnostic device September 19th, 2018

Announcements

Searching for errors in the quantum world September 21st, 2018

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Nanobiotix: Update on Head and Neck Phase I/II Trial with NBTXR3 and Other program data presented at ImmunoRad 2018 September 20th, 2018

Military

Ultracold atoms used to verify 1963 prediction about 1D electrons: Rice University, University of Geneva study focuses on theory that's increasingly relevant to chipmakers September 5th, 2018

Neutrophil nanosponges soak up proteins that promote rheumatoid arthritis September 3rd, 2018

Virginia Tech researchers develop novel process to 3D print one of the strongest materials on Earth August 23rd, 2018

Biomimetic micro/nanoscale fiber reinforced composites August 10th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project