Conformable pressure sensor array based on silver nanowires and PDMS for electronic skin application

Debao Zhou, Haopeng Wang, Jing Bai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Electronic skin (e-skin) is one of the important sensing and protection components for future generations of robots and medical devices to interact with their surroundings. The measurement of contact pressure is recognized as a relatively challenging task. Recently, silver nanowires (AgNWs) based stretchable conductors on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) thin film have been used in many skin-like devices. Here we report a partially transparent, highly flexible and stretchable pressure sensor array (8 x 8 sensor cells) based on piezoresistive principle. The AgNWs/PDMS conductors are used as stretchable interconnects and electrodes, and the pressure-sensitive rubber (PSR) serves as the sensing material. Our e-skin operating at 5 V, is responsive to the pressure with a high repeating frequency (3 Hz) or irregular profile, and can be stretched up to 30%. Not only can it cover a PDMS cylinder (20 mm in diameter), it can also conform to the varied three-dimensional surface of a cylinder during the bending process. The e-skin can detect the contact pressure even under the stretched state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalSensor Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project is funded by the Strategic Seed Grant and the MnDRIVE RSAM Exploratory Awards of the University of Minnesota. The authors acknowledge the support from the Minnesota Nano Center on the Twin Cities campus and the Control Lab on the Duluth campus of the University of Minnesota. Haopeng Wang is under the support from China Scholarship Council (CSC). The authors would like to thank Mr. Shailabh Kumar in Laboratory of Nanostructures and Biosensing at University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Special thanks to Dr. John Deutsch from Essantia Health in Duluth, MN for the support of this project.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2017 American Scientific Publishers All rights reserved.


  • AgNWs
  • Conductivity
  • Electronic skin
  • PDMS
  • Sensor array
  • Stretchability


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