2, Biomedical Institute for Global Health Research and Technology, National University of Singapore, Singapore, , Singapore
3, Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, Agency for Science Technology and Research Singapore, Singapore, , Singapore
Human sensory organs such as the skin have evolved to have excellent sensing performance and ultra-robustness. Electronic versions of skin have witnessed tremendous interest and development over the last decade1. Functional soft, flexible and stretchable materials are crucial to the continued evolution of skin-like sensor applications in emerging robotic systems2, new human-machine interfaces and life-like prosthetics3.
Here, I will discuss our recent work in next generation technologies for bio-electronic skins using an integrated hybrid materials approach that synergizes the best qualities of organic and inorganic materials. For example, recent developments in self-healing polymeric systems have propelled the exciting notion that electronic systems can repair themselves when damaged4. Bio-inspired digitization of analog signals have also enabled us to develop artificial mechano-receptors that optically interfaces with neurons5. These sensor and materials technologies would be extremely applicable in an increasingly advanced cybernetic and Artificial Intelligence (AI) robotics future.
1. Hammock, M. L., Chortos, A., Tee, B. C. K., Tok, J. B. H. & Bao, Z. 25th anniversary article: The evolution of electronic skin (E-Skin): A brief history, design considerations, and recent progress. Adv. Mater. 25, 5997–6038 (2013).
2. Larson, C. et al. Highly stretchable electroluminescent skin for optical signaling and tactile sensing. Science 351, 1071–4 (2016).
3. Lipomi, D. J. et al. Skin-like pressure and strain sensors based on transparent elastic films of carbon nanotubes. Adv. Mater. 23, 1771–1775 (2012).
4. Tan, Y. J., Wu, J., Li, H. & Tee, B. C. K. Self-Healing Electronic Materials for a Smart and Sustainable Future. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 10, 15331–15345 (2018).
5. Tee, B. C. K. et al. A skin-inspired organic digital mechanoreceptor. Science (80-. ). 350, 313–316 (2015).