Artificial 'skin' gives robotic hand a sense of touchSeptember 13, 2017
A team of researchers from the University of Houston has reported a breakthrough in stretchable electronics that can serve as an artificial skin, allowing a robotic hand to sense the difference between hot and cold, while also offering advantages for a wide range of biomedical devices.
The work, reported in the journal Science Advances, describes a new mechanism for producing stretchable electronics, a process that relies upon readily available materials and could be scaled up for commercial production.
Cunjiang Yu, Bill D. Cook Assistant Professor of mechanical engineering and lead author for the paper, said the work is the first to create a semiconductor in a rubber composite format, designed to allow the electronic components to retain functionality even after the material is stretched by 50 percent.
The work is the first semiconductor in rubber composite format that enables stretchability without any special mechanical structure, Yu said.
He noted that traditional semiconductors are brittle and using them in otherwise stretchable materials has required a complicated system of mechanical accommodations. That's both more complex and less stable than the new discovery, as well as more expensive, he said.
"Our strategy has advantages for simple fabrication, scalable manufacturing, high-density integration, large strain tolerance and low cost," he said.
Yu and the rest of the team - co-authors include first author Hae-Jin Kim, Kyoseung Sim and Anish Thukral, all with the UH Cullen College of Engineering - created the electronic skin and used it to demonstrate that a robotic hand could sense the temperature of hot and iced water in a cup. The skin also was able to interpret computer signals sent to the hand and reproduce the signals as American Sign Language.
"The robotic skin can translate the gesture to readable letters that a person like me can understand and read," Yu said.
The artificial skin is just one application. Researchers said the discovery of a material that is soft, bendable, stretchable and twistable will impact future development in soft wearable electronics, including health monitors, medical implants and human-machine interfaces.
The stretchable composite semiconductor was prepared by using a silicon-based polymer known as polydimethylsiloxane, or PDMS, and tiny nanowires to create a solution that hardened into a material which used the nanowires to transport electric current.
"We foresee that this strategy of enabling elastomeric semiconductors by percolating semiconductor nanofibrils into a rubber will advance the development of stretchable semiconductors, and ... will move forward the advancement of stretchable electronics for a wide range of applications, such as artificial skins, biomedical implants and surgical gloves," they wrote.
University of Houston
Related Semiconductor Articles:
An international team of researchers has devised an ultrafast tunable metamaterial based on gallium arsenide nanoparticles, as published by Nature Communications.
A new technique developed by MIT engineers may vastly reduce the overall cost of wafer technology and enable devices made from more exotic, higher-performing semiconductor materials than conventional silicon.
A new method to improve semiconductor fiber optics may lead to a material structure that might one day revolutionize the global transmission of data, according to an interdisciplinary team of researchers.
Princeton researchers have discovered a new form of the simple compound GeSe that has surprisingly escaped detection until now.
A new study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, has introduced a new technique that efficiently isolates circulating tumor cells from whole blood at a liquid-liquid interface.
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have fabricated the first semiconductor-free, optically-controlled microelectronic device.
Collaborative research at Notre Dame has demonstrated that electronic interactions play a significant role in the dimensional crossover of semiconductor nanomaterials.
A newly discovered method for making two-dimensional materials could lead to new and extraordinary properties, particularly in a class of materials called nitrides, say the Penn State materials scientists who discovered the process.
A team of UA researchers in engineering and chemistry has received $590,000 from the National Science Foundation to enhance the effectiveness of organic semiconductors for making ultrathin and flexible optoelectronics like OLED displays for TVs and mobile phones.
Researchers at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have uncovered a way to overcome a principal obstacle in using two-dimensional (2-D) semiconductors in electronic and optoelectronic devices.
Related Semiconductor Reading:
The Essential Guide to Semiconductors
by Jim Turley (Author)
The Essential Guide to Semiconductors is a complete guide to thebusiness and technology of semiconductor design and manufacturing.Conceptual enough for laypeople and nontechnical investors, yet detailedenough for technical professionals, Jim Turley explains exactly howsilicon chips are designed and built, illuminates key markets andopportunities, and shows how the entire industry "fits together." View Details
Semiconductor Manufacturing Handbook, Second Edition
by Hwaiyu Geng (Author)
Thoroughly Revised, State-of-the-Art Semiconductor Design, Manufacturing, and Operations Information
Written by 70 international experts and reviewed by a seasoned technical advisory board, this fully updated resource clearly explains the cutting-edge processes used in the design and fabrication of IC chips, MEMS, sensors, and other electronic devices. Semiconductor Manufacturing Handbook, Second Edition, covers the emerging technologies that enable the Internet of Things, the Industrial Internet of Things, data analytics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and... View Details
Semiconductor Device Fundamentals
by Robert F. Pierret (Author)
Special Features *Computer-based exercises and homework problems -- unique to this text and comprising 25% of the total number of problems -- encourage students to address realistic and challenging problems, experiment with what if scenarios, and easily obtain graphical outputs. Problems are designed to progressively enhance MATLAB-use proficiency, so students need not be familiar with MATLAB at the start of your course. Program scripts that are answers to exercises in the text are available at no charge in electronic form (see Teaching Resources below). *Supplement and Review Mini-Chapters... View Details
Semiconductor Material and Device Characterization
by Dieter K. Schroder (Author)
This Third Edition updates a landmark text with the latest findings
The Third Edition of the internationally lauded Semiconductor Material and Device Characterization brings the text fully up-to-date with the latest developments in the field and includes new pedagogical tools to assist readers. Not only does the Third Edition set forth all the latest measurement techniques, but it also examines new interpretations and new applications of existing techniques.
Semiconductor Material and Device Characterization remains the sole text dedicated... View Details
Fabless: The Transformation of the Semiconductor Industry
by Daniel Nenni (Author), Paul McLellan (Contributor)
The purpose of this book is to illustrate the magnificence of the fabless semiconductor ecosystem, and to give credit where credit is due. We trace the history of the semiconductor industry from both a technical and business perspective. We argue that the development of the fabless business model was a key enabler of the growth in semiconductors since the mid-1980s. Because business models, as much as the technology, are what keep us thrilled with new gadgets year after year, we focus on the evolution of the electronics business. We also invited key players in the industry to contribute... View Details
Semiconductor Physics And Devices: Basic Principles
by Donald A. Neamen (Author)
With its strong pedagogy, superior readability, and thorough examination of the physics of semiconductor material, Semiconductor Physics and Devices, 4/e provides a basis for understanding the characteristics, operation, and limitations of semiconductor devices.
Neamen's Semiconductor Physics and Devices deals with the electrical properties and characteristics of semiconductor materials and devices. The goal of this book is to bring together quantum mechanics, the quantum theory of solids, semiconductor material physics, and semiconductor device physics in a... View Details
Semiconductor Devices: Physics and Technology
by Simon M. Sze (Author), Ming-Kwei Lee (Author)
Semiconductor Devices: Physics and Technology, Third Edition is an introduction to the physical principles of modern semiconductor devices and their advanced fabrication technology. It begins with a brief historical review of major devices and key technologies and is then divided into three sections: semiconductor material properties, physics of semiconductor devices and processing technology to fabricate these semiconductor devices. View Details
Physics and Technology of Semiconductor Devices (Wiley International Edition)
by A. S. Grove (Author)
Provides a comprehensive treatment of semiconductor device physics and technology, with emphasis on modern planar silicon devices. Physical principles are explained by the use of simple physical models and illustrated by experimental measurements. View Details
The Semiconductor Supply Chain - Enterprise-Wide Planning Challenges
by Phd Ken Fordyce (Author), Phd Harpal Singh (Editor)
The purpose of book is to outline the basic playing field and challenges at the global planning level, the factory planning level, the dispatch level, and co-ordination between these three levels. We hope to provide a common understanding of these challenges so that academics and companies can collaborate in developing solutions. View Details
Signal Integrity Issues and Printed Circuit Board Design (paperback) (Prentice Hall Modern Semiconductor Design)
by Douglas Brooks (Author)
This book is primarily aimed at circuit board designers. Typically these people have either no formal engineering education or a 2-year associates degree. A few have formal 4-year degrees and find themselves now designing boards either on a part time basis (as an adjunct to their normal design activities) or perhaps full-time. Almost none of them have ever received any formal education in signal integrity issues as related to board design, principally because almost no such training is offered--anywhere! Therefore, there is a need for a basic, comprehensive text that covers the causes of... View Details