A new technology that could make electronic skin real


Experiments have not stopped in order to reach techniques to achieve the dream of electronic skin, which may be an ideal solution, whether at the scientific or health level. The new technology of thin atomic transistors could make the dream of electronic skin a reality.


This new technology is thin enough, so that it is not perceptible, and becomes an ideal alternative to natural skin. Scientists at Stanford University have come up with this new technology, which is less than 100 nanometers long, which is significantly shorter than previous versions of e-skin. The team achieved this feat by overcoming a long-standing hurdle of inflexible technology.


While 2D semiconductors were the ideal solution, they required a lot of heat to make flexible plastics melt, which the scientists were able to do. The new technology covers glass-coated silicon with a very thin layer of molybdenum disulfide semiconductor, covered with nano-gold electrodes.


This results in a film just three atoms thick using a temperature close to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit a conventional plastic substrate would have deformed at about 680 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the components have cooled, the team can apply the film to the substrate and take a few extra fabrication steps to create an entire structure about five microns thick, or one-tenth the thickness of a human hair.


The new electronic skin could be ideal for low-power use, as it can handle high currents at low voltages. There is still more work to be done, as the researchers want to improve the flexible technology and include wireless technology that would allow networking without bulky hardware.

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