Now, an electronic skin that glows when it gets hurt

ANI | Updated: Nov 02, 2017 09:45 IST

Now, an electronic skin that glows when it gets hurt .

Washington DC [USA], Nov 2 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a Jellyfish-inspired electronic skin that glows when it gets hurt .

An electronic skin that can mimic the full range of biological skin's sensitivity has great potential to transform prosthetics and robotics . Current technologies are very sensitive, but only within a narrow range of weak pressures . Under high pressures that could cause damage, the electronic skins' sensitivity fades .

To address this shortcoming, Bin Hu and colleagues at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology turned to the Atolla jellyfish for inspiration . This bioluminescent, deep-sea creature can feel changes in environmental pressure and flashes dramatically when it senses danger .

Building on the idea of a visual warning in response to a physical threat, the researchers combined electric and optical systems in a novel electronic skin to detect both slight and high-force pressures .

They embedded two layers of stretchy, poly-dimethysiloxane, or PDMS, film with silver nanowires . These layers produce an electrical signal in response to slight pressures, such as those created by a breeze or contact with a leaf . Sandwiched in between the silver nanowire electrodes is a PDMS layer embedded with phosphors .

This layer kicks in and glows with growing intensity as the physical force increases .

The researchers said that this approach more closely copies the wide range of pressures the human skin can feel .

The study appears in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces . (ANI)