Triboelectric active sensor array for self-powered static and dynamic pressure detection and tactile imaging

ACS Nano. 2013 Sep 24;7(9):8266-74. doi: 10.1021/nn4037514. Epub 2013 Aug 19.


We report an innovative, large-area, and self-powered pressure mapping approach based on the triboelectric effect, which converts the mechanical stimuli into electrical output signals. The working mechanism of the triboelectric active sensor (TEAS) was theoretically studied by both analytical method and numerical calculation to gain an intuitive understanding of the relationship between the applied pressure and the responsive signals. Relying on the unique pressure response characteristics of the open-circuit voltage and short-circuit current, we realize both static and dynamic pressure sensing on a single device for the first time. A series of comprehensive investigations were carried out to characterize the performance of the TEAS, and high sensitivity (0.31 kPa(-1)), ultrafast response time (<5 ms), long-term stability (30,000 cycles), as well as low detection limit (2.1 Pa) were achieved. The pressure measurement range of the TEAS was adjustable, which means both gentle pressure detection and large-scale pressure sensing were enabled. Through integrating multiple TEAS units into a sensor array, the as-fabricated TEAS matrix was capable of monitoring and mapping the local pressure distribution applied on the device with distinguishable spatial profiles. This work presents a technique for tactile imaging and progress toward practical applications of nanogenerators, providing potential solutions for accomplishment of artificial skin, human-electronic interfacing, and self-powered systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Conductometry / instrumentation*
  • Elastic Modulus
  • Electric Power Supplies*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Manometry / instrumentation*
  • Motion
  • Nanotechnology / instrumentation*
  • Pressure
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Touch
  • Transducers*