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A Large-area, Flexible Pressure Sensor Matrix With Organic Field-effect Transistors For Artificial Skin Applications.

T. Someya, T. Sekitani, S. Iba, Y. Kato, H. Kawaguchi, T. Sakurai
Published 2004 · Computer Science, Medicine

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It is now widely accepted that skin sensitivity will be very important for future robots used by humans in daily life for housekeeping and entertainment purposes. Despite this fact, relatively little progress has been made in the field of pressure recognition compared to the areas of sight and voice recognition, mainly because good artificial "electronic skin" with a large area and mechanical flexibility is not yet available. The fabrication of a sensitive skin consisting of thousands of pressure sensors would require a flexible switching matrix that cannot be realized with present silicon-based electronics. Organic field-effect transistors can substitute for such conventional electronics because organic circuits are inherently flexible and potentially ultralow in cost even for a large area. Thus, integration of organic transistors and rubber pressure sensors, both of which can be produced by low-cost processing technology such as large-area printing technology, will provide an ideal solution to realize a practical artificial skin, whose feasibility has been demonstrated in this paper. Pressure images have been taken by flexible active matrix drivers with organic transistors whose mobility reaches as high as 1.4 cm(2)/V.s. The device is electrically functional even when it is wrapped around a cylindrical bar with a 2-mm radius.
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