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As the better agency in the animal body, bark plays a basic role in mediating our circadian interactions with the surrounding environment. With a arresting adjustment of sensors, animal bark can apperceive alien automated stimuli (e.g., touch, pressure, strain, vibration) and encode them into physiological signals that are again interpreted by the academician to anatomy acoustic acknowledgment (1–2). To charm the backdrop of animal skin, bogus cyberbanking banknote (e-skins) accept admiring amazing absorption because of their able applications in robotics, prosthetics, bloom care, and the Internet of Things (3–4). In the accomplished decade, notable advance has been bogus in this field, especially, accumulation appearance such as aerial acuteness (5), low apprehension absolute (6), biocompatibility (7), self-healing adequacy (8–9), and acceptable stretchability (10–11). Looking into these advancements, best of them are accomplished on the abject of anatomy engineering (e.g., micropyramids, microcracks, wrinkling, convolute structures, kirigami structures) and innovations in abstracts (e.g., nanoparticles, nanowires, two-dimensional materials, conductive polymers, biocompatible and self-healing materials). In accession to these two aspects, accession in assay mechanisms is an capital access to architecture e-skins with atypical properties. Nevertheless, aloft the absolute assay mechanisms (e.g., resistive, capacitive, transistor based, optical, piezoelectric, triboelectric, and piezoionic), assay apparatus accession is rarely arise (2, 12–15).



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In the skin’s acoustic adjustment (Fig. 1A), cutaneous mechanoreceptors accord us the agency to apperceive alien automated stimuli via the aberration in blur abeyant (16–18). At rest, the central of the bark acoustic beef is usually added abnormally answerable with account to the alfresco (Fig. 1B). Back alien stimuli are accompanying with the acoustic cells, the mechanically gated ion channels will be opened, acceptance clearing or breeze of ions beyond the corpuscle blur (16, 19). This action produces a ample advance in blur abeyant (Fig. 1C, depolarization phase). With the automated stimuli released, the blur abeyant goes aback to the antecedent akin by pumping specific ions aback beyond the corpuscle blur (Fig. 1C, repolarization phase). This mechanotransduction apparatus via the aberration in blur abeyant provides a awful able and energy-efficient way to apperceive ecology stimuli.

(A) Illustrations of the cutaneous mechanoreceptors in accustomed bark acoustic system, including Merkel beef (i), Ruffini endings (ii), Pacinian beef (iii), and Meissner beef (iv). (B) Schematic assuming the agee ion administration beyond the corpuscle membrane, basic a abeyant aberration amid the autogenous and exoteric of acoustic cells. (C) Diagram depicting the blur abeyant aberration while applying a automated bang on the acoustic beef (depolarization phase) and absolution the automated bang (repolarization phase). (D) Conceptual analogy of the potentiometric mechanotransduction mechanism. Two capricious oxidation-reduction reactions in Prussian dejected and Ag/AgCl (as depicted by Eqs. 1 and 2) are acclimated to actualize a abeyant difference. Via structural and basic abetment of the electrolyte, the abeyant aberration created amid the two electrodes can be gradually adapted by applying a force. Thus, alien automated stimuli can be anon accompanying into voltage arresting output, aloof like bark acoustic beef coupling automated stimuli into blur abeyant variation. (E) A archetypal acknowledgment of the potentiometric sensors back subjected to a automated stimulus, which is akin to the physiological arresting generated by the bark acoustic cells. (F) Acknowledgment arresting of the potentiometric sensors back they are subjected to changeless and activating automated stimuli of altered magnitudes. Photo credit: X.W., University of California, Berkeley.



Inspired by the bark acoustic behavior, we present actuality a potentiometric mechanotransduction apparatus based on mechanically adapted abeyant aberration abstinent amid two electrodes. Back bringing two categories of anxiously called electrode abstracts [Prussian blue–modified graphite carbon (PB/carbon) and silver/silver chloride (Ag/AgCl)] into acquaintance with an electrolyte absolute sodium chloride (NaCl), a abeyant aberration is developed amid the two electrodes. Via basic abetment of the electrolyte and creating microstructure on the electrolyte surface, the electrolyte/electrode interface can be adapted by alien automated stimuli, constant in a aberration in the abeyant aberration abstinent amid the two electrodes. Appliance this strategy, we can encode automated stimuli into abeyant aberration variation, analogously to bark acoustic beef coupling automated stimuli into blur abeyant variation. The accessory arise here, based on this potentiometric mechanotransduction mechanism, does not await on an alien activity antecedent and shows ultralow-power consumption. We recorded beneath than 1-nW adeptness consumption, which is several orders of consequence lower than that of accepted assay accessories (12). In addition, the bogus potentiometric mechanotransducer exhibits a acceptable adequacy to ascertain both changeless and low-frequency activating automated stimuli, compensating for the limitations of self-powered piezoelectric and triboelectric accessories in recording changeless automated stimuli (3, 20). Furthermore, we developed an all-solution processing access to assemble high-yield potentiometric accessories appliance all commercially accessible materials, announcement acceptable scalability and cost-efficiency.



On the abject of the proposed potentiometric mechanotransduction mechanism, we authenticate two types of adjustable and wearable assay accessories with backdrop that are arduous to accomplish via accepted assay mechanisms. First, we call a chic of bendable and stretchable automated sensors with strain-independent assay performance. Back the sensors are subjected to compactness anamorphosis up to 50% strain, the arresting achievement of the sensors charcoal awful abiding (nearly no arresting variation) during the accomplished accession process. This strain-independent assay achievement is rarely reported, back the attrition aberration of accepted sensors aloft accession would affect their performance. These strain-insensitive sensors are awful adapted for the accomplishment of absolutely soft, stretchable, and reliable robots and prostheses. Moreover, we authenticate a blazon of e-skin with a single-electrode-mode configuration, which shows abundant achievement by acceptable the assay pixel body and the abstracts accretion acceleration compared with acceptable dual-electrode-mode e-skins. These appropriate characteristics (summarized in table S1) of the potentiometric mechanotransduction apparatus accommodate new means of designing sensors and chip electronics and accord to the approaching development of avant-garde acute cyberbanking systems.

To imitate the skin’s acoustic behavior and authorize a potentiometric mechanotransduction mechanism, we aboriginal anxiously baddest two alive electrode abstracts (i.e., PB/carbon and Ag/AgCl) that can accomplish a abeyant difference. Specifically, for the PB/carbon electrode, there is an oxidation-reduction calm acknowledgment amid FeII and FeIII (Eq. 1, breadth A is an acrid cation) (21). Ag/AgCl is broadly acclimated as a advertence electrode due to its abiding potential, which arises from the oxidation-reduction calm acknowledgment amid Ag0 and Ag in a Cl− ambiance (Eq. 2). Accumulation these two awful capricious oxidation-reduction calm reactions, a abiding abeyant aberration is developed amid the two electrodes (fig. S1)AFeIIFeIII(CN)6 xA xe−↔A1 xFeII[FeII(CN)6]x[FeIII(CN)6]1−x(1)Ag Cl−↔AgCl e−(2)

Once the abeyant aberration is generated, the alien automated stimuli charge to be transduced into a affiliated abeyant aberration variation. As apparent in fig. S1 (A and B), appliance ionic band-aid or ionic hydrogel as an electrolyte, the development of the abeyant aberration amid the two electrodes is too fast to ascendancy due to the low impedance of these electrolytes, which is abstinent at the consequence of kilohms. This low impedance is not aerial abundant to adapt the abeyant aberration achievement amid the two electrodes. To apprehend a affiliated mechanotransduction process, basic and structural abetment of the electrolyte is all-important to finer adapt the abeyant aberration achievement amid the two electrodes. Through modulating the baptize agreeable of the electrolyte and creating microstructure on the electrolyte apparent (figs. S1C and S2 and Fig. 1D), the abeyant aberration achievement amid the two electrodes could be gradually adapted by an alien force (figs. S1C and S3D). The abundant apparatus of this potentiometric mechanotransduction action is absolutely discussed in the Supplementary Abstracts (see fig. S3). Via this proposed potentiometric mechanotransduction mechanism, we can auspiciously encode alien automated stimuli into affiliated abeyant aberration variation, constant in mechanotransducers with agnate arresting achievement with that of accustomed bark acoustic beef (Fig. 1, D and E).

It is account pointing out that ahead arise accessories based on piezoelectric and triboelectric furnishings (20, 22), aberration in electrical bifold layers (23), and movement of ions in ionic polymer-metal composites (24) can additionally accomplish voltage signals in acknowledgment to alien automated stimuli. Nevertheless, they selectively accede to activating stimuli with brief voltage outputs. Accessories that use alive abeyant (25) can accomplish voltage arresting as well, but a affiliated burden acclivity is needed. In contrast, this potentiometric mechanotransduction action enables us to adviser both changeless and low-frequency activating automated stimuli of altered magnitudes (Fig. 1F), compensating for the limitations of the accessories mentioned above. This potentiometric assay apparatus makes it accessible to actualize atypical devices, such as strain-insensitive sensors and single-electrode-mode e-skins, which are arduous to architecture and assemble via the accepted assay principles. The abundant allegory of this potentiometric assay apparatus with added assay mechanisms is presented in table S1.

To assemble the potentiometric mechanotransducers, we aboriginal sandwich a microstructured ionic blended amid the two electrodes, as illustrated in Fig. 2A. Applying a force aloft the mechanotransducers will accompanying access the acquaintance breadth amid the ionic blended and both of the electrodes. A beyond force gives acceleration to a college abeyant aberration amid the two electrodes, as apparent in Fig. 2C. Nevertheless, this sandwich anatomy is not bunched as there is no bounden amid the ionic blended and the electrodes. In addition, it is difficult to abbreviate the mechanotransducers with this sandwich structure. To abode these issues, we use a side-by-side electrode agreement with the microstructured ionic blended placed on top of the two electrodes as illustrated in Fig. 2 (B and D). Afterwards encapsulation with a bendable polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) layer, the mechanotransducers with the side-by-side electrode agreement are actual bunched and additionally accessible to assemble via affiliated and scalable processes. The acuteness of the side-by-side electrode agreement is lower than that of the sandwich anatomy (Fig. 2C), but we can atone for this calmly by accretion the baptize agreeable of the ionic blended (fig. S2). Hence, the side-by-side electrode agreement is acclimated in this study.

(A and B) Schematic illustrations assuming the mechanotransducers with sandwich anatomy (A) and side-by-side electrode agreement (B). (C) Acknowledgment behaviors of mechanotransducers with altered configurations. The acquaintance breadth of the activated force is ≈16 mm2. (D) Schematic blueprint and photograph of the potentiometric mechanotransducers bogus through an all-solution processing approach. See fig. S4 for the artifact process. (E) Picture of a microstructured PVA/NaCl/glycerol (Gly)/water ionic blended blur absorbed on a PET substrate. (F and G) Optical micrographs assuming the created microstructure on the apparent of the ionic blended via a mesh-molding strategy. See fig. S5 for the accomplished action flow. Scale bars, 500 μm (F) and 100 μm (G). (H) Cross-sectional assay and apparent contour of the microstructured ionic composite. Scale bar, 500 μm. Photo credit: X.W., University of California, Berkeley.

We advance an all-solution processing access to assemble the potentiometric mechanotransducers (fig. S4). Specifically, bartering PB/carbon ink and Ag/AgCl ink are adjustment printed on a adjustable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrate in sequence, followed by abating the inks into solid electrodes. For the ionic composite, we baddest eco-friendly polyvinyl booze (PVA) as the polymer casting and sodium chloride (NaCl) as the ion source. In addition, we absorb controllable glycerol (Gly) into the ionic composite. Gly acts as a humectant and can be acclimated to tune the baptize agreeable and electrical impedance of the ionic blended (fig. S2). Gly additionally serves as a plasticizer that can access the benevolence of the ionic composite. With the synergy of these two aspects, the acuteness of the potentiometric mechanotransducers can be calmly adapted by adjusting the Gly content. The ionic blended is able by casting PVA/NaCl/Gly aqueous solutions assimilate a micropatterned template. Afterwards drying, a microstructured PVA/NaCl/Gly/water ionic blended could be acquired (Fig. 2E). A mesh-molding action is acclimated to actualize alternate microstructure on the PVA/NaCl/Gly/water ionic blended (fig. S5). The microstructure created by this mesh-molding action is actual compatible and periodic, as apparent in Fig. 2 (F to H). Last, we accommodate the printed electrodes and the ionic blended into bunched potentiometric mechanotransducers by encapsulating the accessories with a attenuate PDMS band (Fig. 2D). Through this eco-friendly, cost-effective, and all-solution processing approach, we can assemble scalable and high-yield mechanotransducers.

The archetypal acknowledgment of the potentiometric mechanotransducers back gradually applying a force (the acquaintance breadth of the activated force is ≈16 mm2) on the accessories is apparent in Fig. 3A. The bland access in voltage arresting verifies the adequacy of the mechanotransducers for continuously ecology alien automated stimuli. The acknowledgment achievement of the mechanotransducers can be calmly articulate by affability the Gly agreeable in the PVA/NaCl/Gly/water ionic blended (Fig. 3B). Here, we use a simple blueprint to appraise the acuteness (S) of the mechanotransducers: S = ΔV/ΔF, breadth ΔV is the change in voltage achievement and ΔF is the change in the activated force. As apparent in Fig. 3B, mechanotransducers bogus with the ionic blended of PVA/NaCl/Gly/water-32% display the accomplished acuteness of 205.5 mV/N in the force ambit of 0 to 1 N. Subsequently, the arresting aberration slows bottomward (2.3 mV/N) in the force ambit of 1 to 10 N. Mechanotransducers bogus with the ionic blended of PVA/NaCl/Gly/water-16% appearance a acuteness of 48.6 and 3.6 mV/N in the force ranges of 0 to 3 and 3 to 10 N, respectively. For the mechanotransducers bogus with the ionic blended of PVA/NaCl/Gly/water-8%, the acuteness tends to be constant, announcement 9.5 mV/N in the accomplished force range. This is because Gly can access the electrical conductance and the benevolence of the ionic composites. We can added tune the Gly agreeable in the ionic composites to accomplish a college acuteness or a broader alive range. In addition, the assay achievement of the mechanotransducers can be adapted by affability the microstructure admeasurement of the ionic composites (fig. S6), which added enhances the tunability of the devices. The mechanotransducers additionally display fast acknowledgment and accretion behavior, with the acknowledgment and accretion time abstinent to be ≈71 and ≈106 ms, appropriately (Fig. 3C).

(A) Recorded voltage arresting of a mechanotransducer while gradually applying a force on the device, assuming a affiliated and bland mechanotransduction behavior. (B) Acknowledgment behaviors of mechanotransducers with ionic composites of altered Gly content. PVA/NaCl/Gly/water-X% signifies that the weight adjustment of Gly:PVA is X%. Gly enables able adjustment of the electrical impedance and the benevolence of the ionic composites and appropriately can tune the assay behavior of the mechanotransducers. Ionic blended of PVA/NaCl/Gly/water-32% is acclimated to assemble mechanotransducers unless contrarily specified. (C) Acknowledgment and accretion behaviors of the mechanotransducer. (D) Recorded voltage arresting of the mechanotransducer while applying a changeless force on the accessory for 50 s. The voltage arresting beneath the changeless force is about constant, acceptance the adeptness of the mechanotransducer to almanac changeless automated stimuli. (E) Voltage arresting aberration of the mechanotransducer back applying a activating force (0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 Hz, respectively) on the device, advertence the adequacy to adviser low-frequency activating stimuli. (F) Reliability assay of the mechanotransducer by loading and auction a force on the accessory for 1000 cycles.

As apparent in Fig. 3D, back a changeless force is activated on the mechanotransducers and maintained for 50 s, the recorded voltage arresting keeps about affiliated during this period. Piezoelectric and triboelectric assay accessories can additionally accomplish voltage arresting output, but they cannot be acclimated to almanac changeless or boring capricious automated stimuli. This potentiometric mechanotransduction apparatus provides a new alignment for affiliated ecology of changeless or boring capricious automated stimuli with self-generated voltage achievement (Fig. 3, A and D), compensating for the limitation of piezoelectric and triboelectric assay accessories in this regard. Besides, the potentiometric mechanotransducers are able of audition low-frequency activating automated stimuli from 0.5 to 2 Hz, as apparent in Fig. 3E. These mechanotransducers additionally display adorable backbone in a circadian assay (Fig. 3F) and adorable assay adequacy in a abiding affiliated operation beneath ambient action (fig. S7A). Nevertheless, these accessories are not acceptable for use at aerial temperature, as aerial temperature can breach the abiding accompaniment of the sensor adjustment (fig. S7B). Notably, the adeptness burning of our potentiometric accessories is ultralow and recorded beneath than 1 nW during the potentiometric measurement, which is several orders of consequence lower than that of accepted assay devices. This is because the abstinent abeyant aberration amid the two electrodes is self-generated and does not await on an alien adeptness supply. These energy-saving accessories are awful adorable for all-embracing assay systems.

Compared with flexibility, stretchability will be a added adapted appropriate for the abutting bearing of cyberbanking accessories as it can advance the deformability, conformability, and robustness of cyberbanking apparatus (26). However, developing stretchable automated sensors still charcoal a abundant claiming because automated stimuli cannot be abstinent apart from stretching-induced interference. Intrinsically stretchable conductive abstracts (10–11, 27) are accepted to display baby conductance change beneath accession and can be acclimated to allay this issue. However, complicated actinic amalgam or busy microphase manipulations are about needed, and it is still difficult to annihilate the stretching-induced arrest completely. Recently, anatomy engineering of unstretchable abstracts and accessories (e.g., convolute structures, bouncing structures, kirigami structures) shows acceptable affiance to assemble stretchable electronics (28–33). Nevertheless, this action usually involves adult artifact processes and is additionally adverse for high-density accessory integration. These aspects absolute their activated and boundless application. Therefore, developing a accomplished and scalable access to actualize automated sensors with strain-independent assay behaviors still charcoal a abundant claiming but an agitative ambition for creating stretchable cyberbanking systems.

In this work, instead of anatomy or actual innovations, we adduce a new assay apparatus (i.e., potentiometric mechanotransduction) to assemble strain-insensitive automated sensors by accumulation the potentiometric mechanotransducers with adaptable conductors. The operating assumption of the stretchable sensors is illustrated in Fig. 4A. In principle, the abeyant aberration amid the two electrodes is abstinent as an open-circuit potential. For the open-circuit abeyant measurement, a huge resistor (R∞) is affiliated with the circuit, and the voltage altitude is performed beyond R∞. This bureaucracy ensures the generated voltage in the sensors drops primarily beyond R∞. During accession deformation, the attrition aberration of the adaptable conductors (R1) can be alone in allegory with the R∞ and will not account an appulse on the all-embracing attrition of the absolute ambit loop. Hence, these potentiometric automated sensors can assignment apart from accession deformation.

(A) Schematic diagram assuming the ambit archetypal for the operating assumption of the strain-insensitive potentiometric sensors. (B) Illustrative blueprint of the stretchable sensors. See fig. S8 for artifact flow. (C) Photographs assuming the acceptable stretchability of the sensors. (D) Recorded voltage arresting of a stretchable potentiometric sensor during aboriginal applying a affiliated force assimilate the sensor (phase i), followed by applying (phase ii) and absolution (phase iii) 50% ache to the sensor. The inset amount shows the awful abiding arresting achievement of the sensor during accession the sensor to 50% strain. See cine S1 for real-time demonstration. (E) Abstinent accepted arresting of a stretchable arresting sensor for comparison. The accepted arresting shows a notable aberration during applying/releasing 50% ache as a aftereffect of the strain-induced interference. (F) Force assay behaviors of the stretchable sensor afterwards ache and with 50% ache activated on the sensor. (G) Acknowledgment behaviors of a stretchable sensor for ecology feel touch: afterwards ache and with 50% ache activated on the sensor. The abstinent signals of the prestretched and unstretched sensors are about identical, demonstrating that the sensor can assignment apart from stretching-induced interference. Photo credit: X.W., University of California, Berkeley.

The architecture blueprint of the stretchable sensors is apparent in Fig. 4B, and the artifact action is illustrated in fig. S8. The bogus sensors display acceptable softness, flexibility, and stretchability, as presented in Fig. 4C and fig. S9. In the following, the ache aloofness of the stretchable automated sensors is systematically investigated. Because there are two analytical factors (i.e., the activated force on the sensors and the accession anamorphosis of the sensors) during anecdotic the ache aloofness and it is difficult to alter the activated force and the activated ache simultaneously, we charge to fix one affiliated and alter the added one to appraise the ability amid them.

First, by acclimation a force on the sensors and again capricious the activated strain, we advised the aftereffect of accession arrest on the adherence of the sensor arresting achievement (fig. S10A). As apparent in Fig. 4D, we aboriginal administer a affiliated force on the sensors to accomplish a arresting achievement (phase i). Then, the sensors are gradually continued to 50% ache (phase ii), followed by absolution the ache (phase iii). As apparent in fig. S10C, during accession the sensors to 50% strain, the attrition of the adaptable conductors increases remarkably, announcement a about attrition change of 31.0%. However, the abstinent voltage arresting of the potentiometric sensors keeps awful abiding with about no arresting aberration (only ≈0.56% about arresting change; Fig. 4D, inset), announcement a strain-independent assay behavior (see cine S1 for real-time demonstration). As a allegory experiment, we replaced the potentiometric mechanotransducer with a arresting mechanotransducer and kept all added apparatus the aforementioned (as declared in fig. S11), appropriately architecture a stretchable arresting sensor. As apparent in Fig. 4E, back the arresting sensor is subjected to accession (phase ii) and absolution (phase iii) processes, the detected arresting exhibits a arresting aberration (≈21.3% about change).

On the added hand, by preapplying a ache on the sensors and again capricious the activated force, we advised the force assay behaviors of the sensors beneath altered strains (fig. S10B). As apparent in Fig. 4F, with 0% ache and 50% ache preapplied on the sensors, the force assay behaviors are agnate to anniversary other, advertence that the preapplied 50% ache on the sensors does not affect their assay performance. All these abstracts mentioned aloft verify the advantage of the potentiometric mechanotransduction apparatus for amalgam strain-insensitive automated sensors.

As a affidavit of concept, we authenticate the appliance of our stretchable sensors for acquainted feel blow apart from stretching-induced interference. First, a feel is apprenticed assimilate a concrete sensor and captivated for ≈10 s to administer a changeless force. Subsequently, the feel again presses the concrete sensor for 50 cycles to administer a activating force. As apparent in Fig. 4G, the potentiometric concrete sensor afore and afterwards accession to 50% ache can ascertain both changeless and activating stimuli. The prestretched sensor (to 50% strain) and the unstretched sensor (0% strain) accomplish about identical signals (including arresting acuteness and arresting pattern). This strain-independent assay adequacy for both changeless and activating bang apprehension is difficult to apprehend appliance accepted assay mechanisms. We anticipate that these strain-insensitive sensors are actual able for accomplishment bendable robotics, stretchable prosthetics, and adequate bloom affliction devices.

For best of the arise e-skins, anniversary assay pixel usually has two electrodes, so there charge be two affiliation affairs for anniversary pixel to access and alteration abstracts (Fig. 5A). On the abject of advanced artifact techniques, the spatial adjustment of the massive affairs banned the pixel body and pixel cardinal of these dual-electrode-mode e-skins. Alternatively, crossed-grid electrode agreement is acclimated to abate the complication of the abject and to advance the pixel body (Fig. 5B) (34–36). However, the assay pixels charge to be operated one by one to abstain the cross-talk amid adjoining pixels, which banned the abstracts accretion speed. Here, we call a single-electrode-mode e-skin based on potentiometric mechanotransduction mechanism. Primarily, we use a distinct electrode as a advertence point and admeasurement the abeyant aberration of added assay electrodes with account to this advertence point (as illustrated in Fig. 5C). There are several advantages for this single-electrode-mode e-skin (see table S2 for abundant comparison). First, this electrode agreement can abate the complication of abject and advance the pixel body compared with dual-electrode-mode e-skins. Second, because there is negligible accepted breeze complex in the potentiometric measurement, the arrest and cross-talk amid altered assay pixels can be minimized or eliminated. This makes it achievable to access abstracts from all of the assay pixels accompanying (as approved in fig. S12), which could abundantly enhance the abstracts accretion acceleration of approaching e-skins. Moreover, this potentiometric e-skin shows advantage over the added two electrode configurations apropos adeptness burning (less than 1 nW), which makes it actual aggressive for activated applications.

(A to C) Electrode configurations for e-skin fabrication: dual-electrode approach (A), crossed-grid electrode approach (B), and single-electrode approach (C). (D) Photograph assuming the printed electrode adjustment for architecture single-electrode-mode e-skin with 6 × 6 assay pixels. Four advertence electrodes are set at the four corners of the e-skin, authoritative anniversary assay pixel has a agnate ambit to the advertence electrodes. During measurement, the four advertence electrodes are affiliated with one another, basic aloof one advertence point. (E) Photograph of a adjustable single-electrode-mode e-skin. (F and G) Acknowledgment behaviors of the e-skin back agreement a plasticine brawl of ≈0.8 g (the acquaintance breadth is ≈8.0 mm2) and a array of ≈11.0 g (the acquaintance breadth is ≈26.4 mm2) on the 3row-3column pixel, respectively. (H) Schematics and spatial mappings in the abeyant aberration of anniversary pixel with account to the advertence electrodes back animate assurance (≈1.0 g) are placed on the e-skin, basic the belletrist “C,” “A,” and “L” (the logo belletrist of our university). From the reconstructed blush mappings, the belletrist “C,” “A,” and “L” could be calmly recognized, absolute the adorable burden mapping adequacy of the single-electrode-mode e-skin. Photo credit: X.W., University of California, Berkeley.

The artifact of the single-electrode-mode e-skins is added economical compared with dual-electrode-mode e-skins. Alone three accomplish are needed: (i) press of electrode patterns on a adjustable substrate, (ii) band-aid casting of ionic blended film, and (iii) final accumulation of the e-skins. As a demonstration, a adjustable single-electrode-mode e-skin with 6 × 6 assay pixels is bogus (Fig. 5, D and E). The adjustment and admeasurement of the e-skin can be able-bodied authentic during the electrode press procedure. To appraise the assay behaviors of the e-skin, a plasticine brawl (0.8 g) and a array (11.0 g) are placed on the 3row-3column pixel (Fig. 5, F and G). The added article gives acceleration to a beyond abeyant aberration amid this pixel and the advertence electrode, absolute acceptable adequacy for appropriate the consequence of the activated force. In addition, we align animate assurance (≈1.0 g) into the shapes of “C,” “A,” and “L” on the e-skin and admeasurement the abeyant aberration of anniversary pixel with account to the advertence electrodes, as apparent in Fig. 5H. The reconstructed blush mapping is constant with the administration of the objects, demonstrating the adequacy of the e-skin in absolute spatial burden distribution. With the claim of accomplished fabrication, ultralow-power consumption, and acceptable adequacy of acceptable the pixel body and abstracts accretion speed, these single-electrode-mode e-skins are actual ambrosial for a advanced ambit of applications, such as adjustable blow panels, acute robots, alternate wearable devices, etc.

PET films (125 μm thick) were acclimated as the substrate for adjustment press of electrode patterns. Kapton band (60 μm in thickness) films were cut into authentic patterns with a laser-cutting apparatus and absorbed to the PET substrate as stencils. PB/carbon ink (C2070424P2, Gwent Cyberbanking Abstracts Ltd.) was aboriginal adjustment printed as one electrode appliance a bottle slide, followed by dehydration at 100°C for 10 min. Then, Ag/AgCl ink (CI-4001, Engineered Abstracts Systems Inc.) was adjustment printed as accession electrode, followed by abating at 130°C for 1 hour. Afterwards removing the Kapton band stencil, PB/carbon and Ag/AgCl electrodes with authentic patterns were formed on the PET substrate. Subsequently, the apparent of PB/carbon and Ag/AgCl electrodes was able with bendable and adjustable wiping affidavit (TechniCloth, Texwipe Company) to abolish the additives of the inks larboard on the surface, appropriately accepting a added abiding electrode surface.

The microstructured PVA/NaCl/Gly/water ionic composites were able on the abject of a band-aid casting method. Specifically, PVA/NaCl/Gly aqueous solutions absolute 25 weight % (wt %) PVA, 100 mM NaCl, and Gly (weight ratios of Gly to PVA were 8, 16, and 32%, respectively) were casting on a adjustment with alternate microstructure molded from awning meshes (as declared in fig. S5). The casting PVA/NaCl/Gly solutions were aboriginal broiled in a anger awning at ambient temperature for 24 hours and again broiled at an ecology alcove at 25°C and 50% about clamminess (RH) for accession 8 hours. Afterwards drying, the PVA/NaCl/Gly/water ionic blended films (≈700 μm in thickness) were bald off from the adjustment and cut into authentic appearance and size. Subsequently, three PDMS spacers (0.15 × 1 × 5 mm3) were placed about the assay arena of the electrodes, and the acquired PVA/NaCl/Gly/water ionic composites were put at the assay arena (as declared in fig. S4). Then, the accomplished mechanotransducers were encapsulated with a attenuate PDMS band (≈200 μm in thickness). The alfresco apparent of the encapsulating PDMS band is microstructured to abstain adhering amid the PDMS band and alien objects.

For potentiometric mechanotransducers with sandwich structure, PVA/NaCl/Gly band-aid cement was pasted on the baggy ancillary of two pieces of ionic blended films, followed by bonding them calm with the microstructured apparent outside. Afterwards dehydration the cement in an ecology alcove (25°C and 50% RH) for 2 hours, the ionic blended blur with microstructure on both abandon was sandwiched amid the PB/carbon and Ag/AgCl electrodes, and a potentiometric mechanotransducer with sandwich anatomy was fabricated.

Fabrication of the stretchable sensors contains three aloft steps. The aboriginal footfall is to assemble PDMS/carbon nanotubes (CNTs) adaptable conductors, as illustrated in fig. S8. Kapton band affectation was absorbed assimilate a bottle accelerate to ascertain the conductive patterns, followed by aerosol blanket CNT abeyance (25 ml; abeyant in booze with 1 mg/ml) on the bottle slide. Afterwards removing the Kapton band mask, the PDMS forerunner (the weight adjustment of abject to cross-linker is 10:1) was casting assimilate the bottle accelerate and convalescent at 100°C for 30 min. Then, the PDMS/CNT adaptable conductors were bald off, with close CNT conductive adjustment imbedded in the PDMS surface. The additional footfall is to assemble adjustable PB/carbon and Ag/AgCl electrodes on a attenuate PET substrate (75 μm) based on the action mentioned above. Three columns of holes (1 mm in diameter) were punched on the substrate abreast the electrodes. These holes can mechanically ballast the adjustable electrodes and the adaptable conductors via the permeated PDMS in the holes afterwards the final accumulation process. The third footfall is the final accumulation of the stretchable sensors. First, conductive carbon adhesive (112-48, Creative Abstracts Inc.) was pasted on the PB/carbon and Ag/AgCl electrodes abreast the punched holes. Then, PDMS/CNT adaptable conductors were accumbent and absorbed to the electrodes, followed by abating the carbon adhesive at 100°C for 30 min. Subsequently, PDMS spacers, PVA/NaCl/Gly/water ionic blended (PVA/NaCl/Gly/water-16%), and encapsulating PDMS band were placed on the assay region. Then, the PDMS forerunner was alone into the holes on the substrate, and the accomplished sensor was sandwiched amid two half-cured and adhesive PDMS films (prepared by abating PDMS forerunner on a hotplate at 100°C for ≈3 min), followed by absolutely abating the accessory at 25°C for 48 hours (50% RH). Thus, a soft, flexible, stretchable, and able-bodied automated sensor with strain-independent assay achievement was fabricated.

The artifact of the single-electrode-mode e-skin is apparent in fig. S13. PB/carbon and Ag/AgCl inks were adjustment printed on the substrate, respectively, based on the action mentioned above. Afterwards dehydration the inks and removing the stencil, electrodes with authentic patterns were obtained. Then, polyvinyl butyral band-aid (10 wt %, attenuated in ethanol) was bead casting on the conductive trace and broiled (acting as an careful layer), followed by agreement 26 PDMS spacers (0.15 × 1 × 5 mm3) amid adjoining electrodes (as apparent in fig. S13). Subsequently, the PVA/NaCl/Gly band-aid (weight adjustment of Gly to PVA is 32%) was pasted assimilate the Ag/AgCl electrodes as glue, and a allotment of microstructured PVA/NaCl/Gly/water ionic blended (65 mm by 65 mm, weight adjustment of Gly to PVA is 32%) was placed on the electrodes, with the ionic blended durably affirmed on Ag/AgCl electrodes afterwards dehydration the glue. Last, a attenuate PDMS blur (150 μm) was put on the e-skin for encapsulation.

The potentiometric voltage signals of the mechanotransducers were calm on a Keithley 2601A antecedent beat appliance a voltage measure–only approach (sourcing aught accepted and barometer the open-circuit voltage). During the potentiometric measurement, some fasten signals ability arise occasionally because of the triboelectric effect. However, these interferential fasten signals can be calmly filtered, as discussed in fig. S14. Optical diminutive ascertainment was conducted on an optical microscope (Eclipse 50i, Nikon). A Dektak profiler (Veeco 6M) was acclimated for the contour altitude of the microstructured PVA/NaCl/Gly/water ionic composite. Force altitude was conducted on a laboratory-built bureaucracy based on a computer-controlled adaptable date and a force barometer (M5, Mark-10).

Acknowledgments: We accede A. Zamarayeva, J. Jan, and J. Ting for the accessible discussions. Funding: This assignment was supported, in part, by the Bakar Fellows Program, the NSF beneath admission no. 1610899, and FlexTech Alliance beneath admission no. AFOSR 42299. X.W. acknowledges the abutment from China Scholarship Council beneath admission no. 201706240083. Author contributions: X.W. and A.C.A. advised the project. X.W. advised and conducted the experiments. M.A. conducted arresting processing. Y.K., J.Z., and M.E.P. contributed to the characterization. C.L. and J.W.E. helped to architecture the assay and contributed to the assay of the abstracts and discussions. X.W. wrote the manuscript, and all authors apprehend and revised the manuscript. Aggressive interests: X.W. and A.C.A. are inventors on a apparent appliance (provisional no. 62/939523) filed through the University of California, Berkeley. The added authors acknowledge that they accept no aggressive interests. Abstracts and abstracts availability: All abstracts bare to appraise the abstracts in the cardboard are present in the cardboard and/or the Supplementary Materials. Additional abstracts accompanying to this cardboard may be requested from the authors.

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