Researchers have developed a new type of graphene electrode for ultra-sensitive and controllable flexible capacitive pressure sensors.
Flexible pressure sensors allow robots to feel their external mechanical environment, while the development of graphene provides a new solution for the next generation of ultra-sensitive tactile technology.
High-performance flexible pressure sensors are highly desirable in health monitoring, tactile robotics, and artificial intelligence, according to their research paper published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interface.
Construction of microstructures in dielectrics and electrodes is a leading approach to improving the performance of capacitive pressure sensors, said the paper.
Multi-scale shapes of graphene ranging from a few nanometers to hundreds of nanometers, even to tens of micrometers, have been investigated by researchers from the Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology of Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National University of Singapore.
Through experiments, researchers were able to obtain a high-performance capacitive pressure sensor with high sensitivity, fast response, low detection limit, high flexibility, and high stability.
The researchers also found that the micro-structured graphene electrode can enhance a large deformation of dielectric material and thus effectively improve its sensitivity.
Additionally, the newly developed pressure sensors are practical in insect crawling detection, wearable health monitoring, force feedback for tactile robot sensing with a sensor array and human-machine interface systems.