Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Silver Nanowire Sensors Hold Promise for Prosthetics, Robotics

A sensor based on silver nanowires is mounted onto a thumb joint to monitor the skin strain associated with thumb flexing. The sensor shows good wearability and large-strain sensing capability.Photo: Shanshan Yao.
A sensor based on silver nanowires is mounted onto a thumb joint to monitor the skin strain associated with thumb flexing. The sensor shows good wearability and large-strain sensing capability.

Photo: Shanshan Yao.

Abstract:
"Wearable Multifunctional Sensors Using Printed Stretchable Conductors Made Of Silver Nanowires"

Authors: Shanshan Yao and Yong Zhu, North Carolina State University

Published: Online Jan. 14, Nanoscale

DOI: 10.1039/C3NR05496A

Abstract: Considerable efforts have been made to achieve highly sensitive and wearable sensors that can simultaneously detect multiple stimuli such as stretch, pressure, temperature or touch. Here we develop highly stretchable multifunctional sensors that can detect strain (up to 50%), pressure (up to ~1.2 MPa) and finger touch with high sensitivity, fast response time (~40 ms) and good pressure mapping function. The reported sensors utilize the capacitive sensing mechanism, where silver nanowires are used as electrodes (conductors) and Ecoflex is used as a dielectric. The silver nanowire electrodes are screen printed. Our sensors are demonstrated for several wearable applications including monitoring thumb movement, sensing the strain of knee joint in patellar reflex (knee-jerk) and other human motions, illustrating the potential utilities of such sensors in robotic systems, prosthetics, healthcare and flexible touch panels.

Silver Nanowire Sensors Hold Promise for Prosthetics, Robotics

Raleigh, NC | Posted on January 16th, 2014

North Carolina State University researchers have used silver nanowires to develop wearable, multifunctional sensors that could be used in biomedical, military or athletic applications, including new prosthetics, robotic systems and flexible touch panels. The sensors can measure strain, pressure, human touch and bioelectronic signals such as electrocardiograms.

"The technology is based on either physical deformation or "fringing" electric field changes. The latter is very similar to the mechanism used in smartphone touch screens, but the sensors we've developed are stretchable and can be mounted on a variety of curvilinear surfaces such as human skin," says Shanshan Yao, a Ph.D. student at NC State and lead author of a paper on the work.

"These sensors could be used to help develop prosthetics that respond to a user's movement and provide feedback when in use," says Dr. Yong Zhu, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at NC State and senior author of the paper. "They could also be used to create robotics that can ‘feel' their environment, or the sensors could be incorporated into clothing to track motion or monitor an individual's physical health."

The researchers built on Zhu's earlier work to create highly conductive and elastic conductors made from silver nanowires. Specifically, the researchers sandwiched an insulating material between two of the stretchable conductors. The two layers then have the ability - called "capacitance" - to store electric charges. Pushing, pulling or touching the stretchable conductors changes the capacitance. The sensors work by measuring that change in capacitance.

"Creating these sensors is simple and low cost," Yao says. "And we've already demonstrated the sensors in several prototype applications."

For example, the researchers employed these sensors to monitor thumb movement, which can be useful in controlling robotic or prosthetic devices. The researchers also demonstrated an application to monitor knee movements while a test subject is running, walking and jumping.

"The deformation involved in these movements is large, and would break a lot of other sensor devices," Zhu says. "But our sensors can be stretched to 150 percent or more of their original length without losing functionality, so they can handle it."

The researchers also developed an array of sensors that can map pressure distribution, which is important for use in robotics and prosthetics applications. The sensors exhibit a quick response time - 40 milliseconds - so strain and pressure can be monitored in real time.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Matt Shipman

919-515-6386

Dr. Yong Zhu
919.513.7735

Copyright © North Carolina State University

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

The paper, “Wearable Multifunctional Sensors Using Printed Stretchable Conductors Made Of Silver Nanowires,” is published online in the journal Nanoscale. The work was supported by the National Science Foundation through NC State’s ASSIST Engineering Research Center:

Related News Press

News and information

A big nano boost for solar cells: Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies January 21st, 2017

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Display technology/LEDs/SS Lighting/OLEDs

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Dressing a metal in various colors: DGIST research developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials January 17th, 2017

Miniscule amounts of impurities in vacuum greatly affecting OLED lifetime December 30th, 2016

Flexible Electronics

Dressing a metal in various colors: DGIST research developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials January 17th, 2017

NUS researchers achieve major breakthrough in flexible electronics: New classes of printable electrically conducting polymer materials make better electrodes for plastic electronics and advanced semiconductor devices January 14th, 2017

Advance in intense pulsed light sintering opens door to improved electronics manufacturing December 23rd, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Nanomedicine

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Chemists Cook up New Nanomaterial and Imaging Method: Nanomaterials can store all kinds of things, including energy, drugs and other cargo January 19th, 2017

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

New active filaments mimic biology to transport nano-cargo: A new design for a fully biocompatible motility engine transports colloidal particles faster than diffusion with active filaments January 11th, 2017

Sensors

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale January 20th, 2017

Chemists Cook up New Nanomaterial and Imaging Method: Nanomaterials can store all kinds of things, including energy, drugs and other cargo January 19th, 2017

Nanoscale Modifications can be used to Engineer Electrical Contacts for Nanodevices January 13th, 2017

Discoveries

A big nano boost for solar cells: Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies January 21st, 2017

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Announcements

A big nano boost for solar cells: Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies January 21st, 2017

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale January 20th, 2017

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

A big nano boost for solar cells: Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies January 21st, 2017

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

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




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project