New color-shifting electronic prosthetic skin


Now, researchers in China have developed a new type of user-interactive color changing electronic prosthetic skin. With a colour change perceptible to the human eye. Achieved with a much-reduced level of strain. Their results could have applications in robotics, prosthetic and wearable technology.

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Science has been able to replicate these abilities with artificial skin. The colour changes visible to the eye during the material under mechanical strain. This user-interactive e-skin should be promising for applications in wearable devices, robots and prosthetics in the future.”

Insensitive stretchable electrode of the ECD layer.

However, the ability of some animals, including chameleons, octopus, and squid, to change their skin colour for camouflage, temperature control, or communication is well known.

The study from Tsinghua University in Beijing employed flexible electronics made from graphene. In the form of a highly-sensitive resistive strain sensor. Combined with a stretchable organic electrochromic device. However,  Lead author Dr Tingting Yang said, “We explored the substrate underlying effect on the electromechanical behaviour of graphene. To obtain good performance with a simple process and reduced cost. Its design gradient structure to use graphene for both the highly sensitive strain-sensing element. Also the insensitive stretchable electrode of the ECD layer.

Finally, found subtle strain between zero and 10 per cent was enough to cause an obvious colour change. The RGB value of the colour quantified the magnitude of the applied strain.

In addition, Graphene, with its high transparency, rapid carrier transport, flexibility and large specific surface area, shows application potential for flexible electronics, including stretchable electrodes, supercapacitor, sensors, and optical devices.

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However, our results also show that the mechanical property of the substrate was strongly relevant to the performance of the strain sensing materials.