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In ACS sensors

With the fast development of consumer electronic and artificial intelligence equipment, flexible pressure sensors (FPSs) have become a momentous component in the application of wearable electronic, electronic skin, and human-machine interfacing. The capacitive FPS possesses the merits of low energy consumption, high resolution, and fast dynamic response, so it is ideal for mobile and wearable electronics. However, capacitive FPS is vulnerable to electromagnetic interference and parasitic capacitance due to its low sensitivity. Microstructure or porous dielectric materials have been applied to improve the sensitivity of the capacitive FPS, but the high sensitivity is just limited to a narrow region. In this work, we propose a different strategy that incorporates a high-permittivity MXene nanocomposite dielectric with a 3D network electrode (3DNE) to improve the sensing performance of the capacitive FPS. Thanks to the high permittivity of the dielectric layer and hierarchical deformation of the electrode, the fabricated capacitive FPS exhibits a high sensitivity of 10.2 kPa-1 in the low pressure range (0-8.6 kPa) and still maintains a relatively high sensitivity of 3.65 kPa-1 with a near-linear response in a wide pressure range (8.6-100 kPa). In addition, the capacitive FPS can withstand over 20,000 times pressure loads without significant signal damping. Furthermore, the working mechanism of the capacitive FPS is illustrated by the finite element analysis (FEA) method and theoretical calculation. The application potential of the sensor in wearable electronics was demonstrated by human pulse wave monitoring and pressure mapping tests with a 4 × 6 sensor microarray.

Zhang Long, Zhang Shaohui, Wang Chao, Zhou Quan, Zhang Haifeng, Pan Ge-Bo


3D network, MXene, capacitive, flexible pressure sensor, nanocomposite dielectric