Monday, September 13, 2010

Technology Review: Electric Skin that Rivals the Real Thing

Technology Review: Electric Skin that Rivals the Real Thing: "The core of Bao's device consists of a clear silicon-containing polymer called PDMS. This material's ability to store charge is directly related to its thickness. A few years ago, researchers led by Takao Someya at the University of Tokyo took advantage of this property, using PDMS as the insulating layer in flexible organic transistors that acted as pressure sensors...

Ali Javey, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, has built low-power tactile sensors based on arrays of inorganic nanowire transistors. The transistors are arranged beneath, and connected to, a layer of a commercially available conductive rubber that contains carbon nanoparticles. When the rubber is compressed, its electrical resistance changes, and this can be detected by the transistors. "The nanowires are being used as active electronics to run the tactile sensor on top," he explains.

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